Dubai: Maria Madalena, an 80-year-old Portuguese tourist who has been visiting Dubai every year with her husband and family for the last 20 years, did not expect to get diagnosed with cancer while on holiday in Dubai.
Madalena says, “I did feel unwell before I travelled to Dubai but I did not want to cancel our holiday. In fact, I told God that I want to be cured in Dubai. However, I had no idea that I had a cancerous tumour in my body.”
The faith and trust to seek medical treatment in a foreign country while on holiday stemmed from the fact that her husband underwent a successful heart procedure three years ago at Rashid Hospital after he suffered a heart attack while on holiday here earlier.
Three years ago
82-year old Rider Lobo says, “Three years ago, I was shopping at the Mall of the Emirates when I felt pain and discomfort in my chest. I visited a medical facility and I was told to urgently go to the hospital. An ambulance arrived and immediately took me away. Everything was done promptly with a sense of urgency. When I went back to Lisbon, I visited a famous cardiologist there, I was informed that the procedure was done brilliantly and that it probably would not have been possible to get the same level of care in Lisbon itself.”
Trust in medical facilities in Dubai
He said that this time before they travelled to Dubai, his wife was feeling a little unwell. “We did not think of cancelling the holiday as we were confident that if she needed medical attention we would receive high-quality treatment in Dubai.”
Madalena says, “When we arrived in Dubai I wasn’t feeling very good, we went to the hotel and next day I went straight to Rashid Hospital.”
How Madalena was saved
Dr Omar Al Marzouqi, Consultant General Surgeon, specialised in minimally invasive and bariatric surgery at Rashid Hospital said, “The patient came to the emergency department of the hospital. We immediately carried out several tests to investigate the medical condition she had. The patient was fully evaluated and we performed several tests including a colonoscopy, CT scan and blood tests. Additionally, the patient was seen by all relevant specialities to ensure we provide the highest quality of multidisciplinary care.”
Dr Al Marzouqi says that the tests revealed a cancerous tumour in the mid-rectum of the patient. “We discussed the case with the Tumour Board at Rashid Hospital. All cancerous tumour cases are discussed by a multidisciplinary team of highly specialised doctors on the Tumour Board. These standards are in place keeping international guidelines and hospital guidelines in mind to provide the highest-quality of patient-centred care.
“Keeping the age of the patient in mind and her condition, we decided it was best to avoid open surgery and we opted to remove the tumour laparoscopically instead.”
Dr Al Marzouqi said that at the Rashid Hospital, over 100 laparoscopic procedures for colorectal cancer had been carried out in the last four years. He added that surgical techniques have advanced significantly and that since the last few years the department has adopted minimally invasive procedures across the spectrum.
Enumerating the benefits of minimally invasive procedures, Dr Al Marzouqui said it included quicker recovery, better patient outcomes and shorter hospital stays.
Further elaborating he said: “Smaller incisions mean the patient has an opportunity to recover faster, the patient experiences less pain and can return to work or resume day-to-day activities much faster.
In this case, we were pleased to see the patient recovered beautifully and was discharged three days after the procedure.”
Madelena expressed her gratitude to the entire team at the hospital, “I have no words left to thank the hospital staff. We are very grateful that the Almighty chose this place to resolve my medical issue. I will revisit again.”