Abu Dhabi: A 12-year-old girl suffering from acute leukaemia needs an urgent bone marrow transplant in Abu Dhabi as her family are unable to afford her medical expenses abroad.
The surgery, which will be carried out in India this month — as soon as the family is financially able to proceed — will cost over Dh125,000 and the distraught parents are pleading for help.
The Grade 6 student of Creative British School in Musaffah, Hana Al Haitham is being treated at Shaikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) but she has to travel to India for bone-marrow transplant, as it is not available here.
Hana was diagnosed with relapsed acute promyelocytic leukaemia, M3, last year at the SKMC after being initially taken to Al Mafraq hospital on May 23, 2017, for bruises over the face and extremities. She was found to have a high white blood cell count of 40,000 and a heemoglobin count of 11.6.
Speaking to Gulf News, Sudanese expatriate Elhaitham Mohammad Ismail Eisa, father of Hana, said, “Initially in 2017, we found some bruises on her face and rushed her to Al Mafraq hospital where doctors diagnosed her with a number of serious conditions and transferred her to the SKMC pediatric ICU.”
It was the beginning of their ordeal as the parents took loans from friends and relatives to finance their daughter’s treatment though they were unable to take her abroad for the bone marrow transplant.
“Managing the home, treatments and schooling of children in a modest salary is difficult and now we are overburdened with debts, said Eisa, who works as an electrical engineer in Abu Dhabi and earns Dh5,000 a month.
He has three children, Hana, 12, Hiba, 12 (twins), and Ahmad, 11. They study in Creative British School in Musaffah.
“I have to pay Dh43,000 annual rent for my apartment in Musaffah and also pay tuition fees for my children, which amounts to Dh42,000 a year, and then there are the daily expenses,” said the father.
“Since we are overburdened with the cost of medications, we brought our daughter home and take her to the hospital whenever it’s required,” Eisa said.
So far, the parents were able to get treatments for Hana for free due to the insurance. But it is critical that she be given a transplant, which can only be performed abroad.
“I have researched and crossed-check medical expenses at different hospitals around the world and found the most affordable bone marrow transplant in Bengaluru, India, which will cost us $34,000,” Eisa told Gulf News.