Ras Al Khaimah: Good Samaritans in the UAE came together to help an unemployed Indian visitor return home. He was left mentally incapacitated after developing seizures and collapsing in the streets of Ras Al Khaimah earlier this year.
Hasimuddin Ahmad, hailing from Bahraich district in Uttar Pradesh (UP), has been in a non-responsive state since his collapse two months ago. Gulf News carried news of his plight last month, when he was hospitalised in Ras Al Khaimah in a non-responsive state with steadily mounting hospital bills.
Ahmad arrived in the UAE on April 15 looking for a job, on a visit visa valid for one month. He was unsuccessful in securing a job, so he renewed his visa for another month. Before the second visa expired, Ahmad developed seizures and went into a non-responsive state. Ahmad’s visit visa expired on June 15 and people from his hometown who are working in the UAE decided to pool in for the cost of the visa extension.
A lab investigation done by the hospital at the time revealed that Ahmad suffered from malignant melanoma with metastasis to the brain, liver, neck lymph nodes and dorsal spine. The hospital report also showde Ahmad having multiple melanomas on the scalp, face, chest, abdomen and the back along with a large lesion on his scalp.
He had no travel insurance and no medical cover, and his hospital bills steadily rose. In a turn of events, with no relative or friend to bail him out of the financial mess or to get him home, UAE residents came together in his aid.
Visa fees, hospital bills taken care of
Ahmad’s visit visa expired on June 15 and people from his hometown, who work in the UAE, decided to pool in for the cost of the visa extension.
“It is really heartening to see the way the community has come to his aid. If his visit visa had not been extended, then we would have had to do it all over again. His repatriation comes as a relief as twice it was postponed due to some issues,” said Sreedharan Prasad, a social worker from Ras Al Khaimah.
Ministry steps in
According to Prasad, the hospital bill was taken care by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in Ras Al Khaimah. He said volunteers of the medical committee set up within the Consulate General of India in Dubai provided aide and the much needed support to repatriate this man home.
He added, “The cost of repatriating him was borne by the Indian Community Welfare Fund from Consulate General of India in Dubai. There was a cost to be borne for the air ticket of the medical escort travelling with the patient. He also paid a remuneration for the medical escort accompanying him, and his hotel accommodation. Also there was a charge applicable to Dubai airport as a patient was being transported.”
Home at last
“He flew [back on] Air India early this morning.", Prasad said. "The only direct flight to Lucknow is by Air India Express, however, it is a narrow bodied aircraft. Hence we had to send the patient by Air India up to New Delhi. Here, Ahmad was shifted to another aircraft on Air India to Lucknow", he detailed.
"Usually Air India does not fly wide-bodied aircrafts for domestic journeys. But in this instance as a special case, the airlines arranged a bigger aircraft. That is quite amazing”, Prasad added.
On Wednesday morning, Ahmad was handed over to his relatives, Prasad informed Gulf News.