NAT Chandani Bandarana-1602826259783
Chandani Bandarana Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A critically ill Sri Lankan expatriate is desperately seeking support so she can get financial assistance and a visa extension for a minimum of six months so that she can complete her chemotherapy.

Chandani Bandarana, 48, a maid employed with a cleaning company has been on an employment visa with the company on compassionate grounds, but has not had an income for the previous year as she has been critically ill with cancer of the lower abdomen.

Bandarana, a widow who lost her husband during the tsunami of 2004, came to the UAE in April 2011 as she had to support her two children through school. She was first employed as a housemaid with an Arab family for two years and later joined the cleaning company.

A church volunteer who is trying to help the sick woma, told Gulf News: “She has no money. She first had symptoms of abdominal pain and was diagnosed with cancer later. She underwent surgery at a Fujairah hospital and her case was transferred to Al Tawam Hospital, Al Ain, where she has been receiving chemotherapy free of charge. The company retained her on their visa as she required to go for chemotherapy, but will not be able to renew her visa which expires on October 30.”


Bandarana, who is pain and is very weak, has been struggling to travel to Al Ain from Ras Al Khaimah where she is staying with some generous friends, said the volunteer

Those who are trying to help her vouch for Bandarana’s honesty and estimate that will need at least Dh100,000 to see her through her treatment and get good nutrition as well as support her two children in Sri Lanka.

Proper nutrition is essential, they said, as her immunity is very low and she cannot continue chemotherapy in her current state. With Bandarana’s visa expiring on October 30, time is running out for her as she will be unable to continue with the cancer treatment without an extension.

Children struggling in Sri Lanka

Bandarana’s son Sajith Madhusudhan had to drop out of Grade 12 from his school in Sri Lanka over non-payment of fees. She said he dropped out to work as a labourer so that he could pay for his sister Sajni Madhushani’s schooling. Sajni is studying in grade 9. Bandarana told Gulf News from her sick bed in her Ras Al Khaimah home: “I am trying to be strong and hope I can complete my chemotherapy. I earnestly appeal to some kind-hearted souls to help me in this situation. My visa is expiring by the end of this month. I am too sick to travel and need to get better with this treatment. If I can get an extension on my visa for six months, I will be able to complete my treatment and travel back to Sri Lanka. I pray every day for God to bless those who has shown compassion to me.”