Suchitra Pratap, 61, was visiting her son’s family in Discovery Gardens when the accident occurred on February 6. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Residents of a south Dubai community are raising funds for a grandmother who has slipped into coma after a freak accident during a football game early this month.

The visiting 61-year-old Indian, Suchitra Pratap, a retired professor of English, was visiting her son’s family in Discovery Gardens when the accident occurred on February 6.

The woman’s son Navdeep Pratap, 31, told Gulf News that his mum was taking a walk at 6.30pm around an open area in the community, where children were playing football. Suddenly, one of the players allegedly rammed into her, following which she lost balance and fell to the ground.

A neighbour who wished to remain anonymous said: “The lady fell on her back and hit her head. She was bleeding. Some people, who were also on their evening walk, helped her to a bench. Subsequently, she lost consciousness. A security guard informed her son who came down and called the ambulance.”

The lady fell on her back and hit her head. She was bleeding. Some people, who were also on their evening walk, helped her to a bench. Subsequently, she lost consciousness. A security guard informed her son who called the ambulance.

- A neighbour

Pratap said he has lodged a complaint with the Jebel Ali police station.

He said, “My mother was to be taken to Rashid Hospital emergency, but because of her serious condition, she was rushed to the nearest emergency at Al Zahra Hospital, Al Barsha. It was truly life-saving as within 30 minutes, surgeons discovered that the pressure in her skull was building up due to internal haemorrhage and she was operated. A part of her skull was removed to drain out the blood and ease the inflammation. She was put onto a ventilator and she went into a coma.”

Two weeks on, Suchitra is off the ventilator but continues to be in a comatose state. A doctor attending on her said there was some improvement in her condition, but it was not certain when she would come out of coma.

Pratap, a business development manager, said the hospital bill was mounting by the day and had already touched Dh300,000. He said he was considering the option of transferring his mother to a hospital in Hyderabad in an air ambulance.

He said the community has been very helpful. “Many residents from my community came forward to raise some funds which was touching. With their help, I have cleared a bill of Dh50,000.” But, the dues remain out of his reach.

“I have been trying to negotiate a reasonable price for an air ambulance and have been in touch with the Indian Consulate,” he added.

“I lost my father in September 2018 after a prolonged illness. My mother came here on a three-month visit visa on December 21 and was getting acclimatised to this place. She was planning to visit India in March, wind up matters back home and return to Dubai to live with us,” Pratap said, adding that they never thought things would end up this way.

“I really want other residents to be careful about their parents on visit visa and guard against any such freak injuries and think it is important for communities to be little more alert on safety of their elderly. I would also like to caution residents to be more mindful of their senior loved ones who may be visiting and reading up on health and travel insurance rules in case of such an eventuality.”

Neighbours said Suchitra is a vivacious and lively person who was settling in well with her daughter-in-law, son and grandson. She had even joined yoga classes in her community and had made friends. “Our community is very friendly and we have many elderly parents visiting their families and or living here as dependents. Most of them look forward to meeting members of the neighbourhood in the evening,” said one of them.