Dubai: The mother of Rowda Almaeeni, the 25-year-old Emirati who slipped into a coma following a botched nose surgery at an ambulatory care centre in Dubai, has broken her silence to speak to Gulf News about how her daughter is suffering and the family completely devastated.
Rowda, a first year master’s student of hospital management, had checked into a Dubai cosmetic surgery centre for a rhinoplasty on April 23 this year. She suffered a cardiac arrest on the operating table and the investigative report stated that her brain had been deprived of oxygen for a full seven minutes. A family spokesperson said the operating theatre had no certification for Advanced Cardiovascular Life Support System (ACLS) and doctors were unable to intervene which led to damage in several vital brain cells and the patient lapsed into a coma.
Rowda’s mother Nawal Mohammad, told Gulf News on Wednesday: “Now that the supreme medical liability committee has found the surgeon, anesthesiologist and surgery centre guilty of medical malpractice, our family wants to know if the surgeon who has been allowed to practice for so many months in Dubai will be stopped? We have sent a query to Dubai Health Authority’s medical regulations committee and have yet to receive a response.”
She said, “My daughter had contacted the surgeon who chose this centre, the anesthesiologist and the entire surgical team. He told us this was an excellent place but failed to inform us that the centre lacked the basic certification for advanced life support in case of a cardiac arrest.”
Another family member added: “Even after the cardiac arrest, it is said that the first three hours are crucial and oxygen supply to the brain has to be maintained. She should have been intubated and emergency medical intervention could have avoided the damage. Instead, they removed her tubes and she suffered multiple convulsions with each seizure further depriving her of oxygen.”
To the US and back
In May, the Almaeeni family airlifted Rowda to a hospital in Chicago, US, for long-term treatment as His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, offered to cover her medical expenses. However, the US hospital recently gave up on the patient citing no substantial change in her. The family returned to the UAE a few days ago with the patient, who is now receiving treatment at a long-term rehabilitation centre in Abu Dhabi.
Nawal broke down as she continued: “The US hospital doctors gave up on my daughter saying only a ‘miracle’ could save her. The wrote in the report that she had severe multiple damage to the brain. Now her body has excess spasticity, so much so that she was getting bruised during physiotherapy. She has to have 50 medicines a day that is damaging her liver and other organs and very often in the night, she chokes. She is alive, but deaf, mute and in pain and suffering so much that I am unable to bear it. I would give anything to hear the voice of my girl and see her smile again.”
Nawal has been by Rowda’s bed side for the last six months and has vowed not to leave her alone. She had to leave her nine year old son in the care of a nanny to be in Chicago and now in Abu Dhabi.
The family, originally from Sharjah, has been incurring additional expenses to live in Abu Dhabi.
The care facility in Abu Dhabi has scheduled a surgery to address the patient’s spasticity. “This is a high risk surgery as Rowda will have to go under anaesthesia and we are fearful. But she needs to have lesser contracture in her limbs to be able to regain some strength with physiotherapy,” said a family member.