Abu Dhabi: Just as misfortune does not come alone, good fortune comes in torrents, at least for some.
Luck smiled on Egyptian couple Sayed Mohammad and Soraya Foully, who were living a hand-to-mouth existence in Abu Dhabi, when the Crown Prince of Ajman, Shaikh Ammar Bin Humaid Al Nuaimi, responding to an article he read in Gulf News offered to provide the family financial support.
Gulf News was the first paper to break the news about the first sextuplets to be born in the capital city. The infants are currently in healthy condition at the Corniche Hospital.
After reading that the babies' father earns a mere Dh2,000 per month, and that the sextuplets have nowhere to stay, Shaikh Ammar offered to provide the family with accommodation, and to pay for any medical or personal expenses required.
Following Shaikh Ammar's generous gesture, Ajman Radio 4 FM interviewed Gulf News' Abu Dhabi Editor, Abdullah Rasheed, who spoke about the overwhelming community response in response to the article.
"Shaikh Ammar's quick response and offer to help the family, alongside hundreds of phone calls, e-mails and letters received from companies and members of the public, shows that there are still good-hearted and generous people out there, in the UAE. It also shows the important role the media plays in getting people's voices heard, and in bridging the gap between authorities and the community," said Rasheed.
Upon reading the article, a diaper manufacturing company, that wished not to be named, offered the family 1500 diapers. In addition, Dr Michael Bitzer, CEO at the National Health Insurance Company (Daman), told Gulf News that Daman has established contact with the family to look into health insurance solutions.
A bank that wished to remain anonymous offered to get in touch with the parents and help financially. JGC Tecnimont asked to contact the family to offer a one-way ticket for the sextuplets and the mother, as per her wish to return to Egypt, and a two-way ticket for the father. The company also offered to sponsor any pending medical fees.
Due to the overwhelming response from the community to help the family, the Corniche Hospital, which has been taking care of the seven-months premature sextuplets and the mother over the past four months, have created a Facebook page to foster greater community involvement in the babies' future.
When Gulf News contacted Soraya for her reaction, her first words were: "I'm speechless!"
She went on to say: "Everyone who saw me today said that my face suddenly brightened up. I was worried about what the fate of my babies would be, and now after hearing about all these generous donations, I cannot go on to thank each and every single one of these people.
The UAE proved to be a generous and blessed country, even more than our own country. All I want right now is to be able to support my children till they are on their feet, and hope that these donations help us do that, it's not about their father and I, it's about them."
Soraya yesterday visited her son Khalifa, who is under medical supervision at another public hospital, after undergoing abdominal surgery. She confirmed to Gulf News that her son will be fine.
On a conservative estimate parents with a baby spend about Dh1,500 a month on various products. Here's why:
Baby soap 125 gm
- Dh3.95 Johnson and Johnson
- Dh9.95 Sebamed
Baby lotion 200ml
- Dh14.10 Johnson and Johnson
- Dh20.25 Sebamed
Baby Shampoo 200ml
- Dh8.60 Johnson and Johnson
- Dh13.20 Sebamed
Diapers (three to four brands are available with a price range from Dh23 to Dh58)
Baby oil 200ml
- Starts at Dh14.25
Baby Powder 200 gm pack
- Starts at Dh13.95
- Costs Dh18.90 to Dh24.75 (per serving)
Baby feeding bottles
- Prices from Dh7 to Dh25
- Prices from Dh20 to Dh100
These are the current prices at Lulu Hypermarket. V. Nandakumar, Corporate Communications Head, said: "We as a responsible retailer attach a lot of importance to quality. The feedback we get from parents also is the same, and the popularity of products like Johnson and Johnson and Sebamed in the baby care category proves that parents don't mind spending a little extra money when it comes to the hygiene and welfare of their own babies." The figure of Dh1,500 also took into consideration medical and miscellaneous costs.
The Corniche Hospital has created a facebook page "Corniche Hospital Sextuplets" that can be accessed at http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001325369155&sk=info which provides information for members of the community keen to make donations.