Dubai: A Filipina who has been undergoing treatment and physiotherapy at Rashid Hospital after waking up from a nine-month coma is now well on her way to recovery and is ready to go back to the Philippines to see her children.
Perlite Almonte, 35, was first admitted to the hospital on April 18, 2015 after she was found unconscious in the bathroom of her house. Doctors who examined Almonte said she had slipped into a coma.
Dr Zeyad Al Rais, Head of Critical Care Department at Rashid Hospital, said Almonte fell into a coma because of intracerebral haemorrhage, a life-threatening type of stroke caused by bleeding within the brain tissue.
“Perlite suffered from an intracerebral haemorrhage due to aneurysmal bleeding,” Dr Al Rais said.
An aneurysm is a balloon-like bulge or weakening of the arterial wall, Dr Al Rais explained. As the bulge grows, the arterial wall becomes thinner and weaker. It can become so thin that the blood pressure within can cause it to burst or leak.
Most aneurysms develop from a weakness or abnormal artery wall. In most cases, they show no symptoms and can go unnoticed.
“Perlite underwent a surgical intervention to drain the blood. Due to the critical location of the bleeding, the respiratory and hemodynamic functions were affected, and she was kept on a ventilator for more than two weeks, hence the decision was taken to perform tracheostomy, which helped her to gradually be weaned off the mechanical ventilation. We also started early physiotherapy to enhance her muscular power, while she was in coma,” he said.
Almonte gained consciousness sometime in January 2016, nine months after being admitted. It was then that Dr Al Rais was able to start intensive active physiotherapy and put in place a neurological rehabilitation plan.
“Now, after nine months on being comatose on ventilator with tracheostomy tube, I am happy to say that the patient is fully conscious,” Dr Al Rais said.
Almonte’s neurological state is also stable. She has been successfully weaned her off the ventilator and regained some of her motor skills. She can now walk with people’s help.
Almonte, who used to work as a supervisor in a courier company, has nothing but gratitude to Dr Al Rais and his team of specialists, nurses and respiratory therapists, for the care they have shown her stay at the hospital.
“I have spent over a year and nine months at Rashid Hospital, I now consider the doctors and nurses at the hospital my family. I am truly thankful for the treatment I have received at Rashid Hospital. I am glad that I am recovering and I can’t wait to go to the Philippines to see my children,” the mother of two said.
Ray Angulo, a Dubai Health Authority-accredited social worker who has regularly visited Almonte, said her case is truly a success story. Although Almonte can barely speak, her morale has received a major boost due to the care she has received and her family around her. He also helped flew in Almonte’s two kids last year to show support for her recovery.
Dr Al Rais said Rashid Hospital has one of the most equipped and specialised critical care departments in the UAE, adding that the hospital has a high success rate in treating patients similar to Almonte’s case.
“We are now working on an intensive rehabilitation plan for Perlie. Our aim is to make her independent as much as possible so that she can lead a regular life.”