Sonali Gupta with the doctors at Bareen International Hospital in Abu Dhabi. Image Credit: Supplied

Abu Dhabi: A daughter’s impassioned call for help on social media caught the attention of a private hospital in the UAE, and helped save the life of the woman’s unemployed mother.

Sonali Gupta, 48, had lost her job during the COVID-19 pandemic. When she began experiencing heavy bleeding in May 2021, it was an additional blow. The 48-year-old Indian expatriate was living alone in Dubai, with her husband and daughter, Shilpa Rao, 28. Shilpa had gone back home amid the COVID-19 crisis, and so the woman had no one around to help her.

Tumour diagnosis

Eventually, Gupta’s haemoglobin levels began to drop, and she was diagnosed with a tumour in her uterus by a private hospital in Dubai.

“My husband and my daughter were not with me and could not physically help due to the ongoing travel restrictions. [Moreover,] we did not have enough resources to pay for the required treatment. I was hopeless and scared,” Gupta said.

Call for help

It was then that Rao posted an impassioned call for help on social media. When doctors at Bareen International Hospital in Abu Dhabi noticed the post, they decided to perform the surgery — free of charge. Soon, Gupta was contacted and she was admitted to the hospital on June 1.

“After a series of tests, we found a four-centimetre fibroid polyp inside the upper part of her uterus, which was causing her heavy bleeding. Without treatment, this could lead to severe blood loss, and even become fatal,” explained Dr Kamlesh Mishra, obstetrics and gynaecology specialist at Bareen International.

Uterine fibroids

Up to 40 per cent of women are known to have fibroids in their uterus and women of reproductive age between 30 and 40 years are particularly prone to developing them. The development of fibroids is dependent on hormones and these growths are mostly asymptomatic, since they are commonly present on the outer surface of the uterus. The condition can, however, become symptomatic when the fibroids are close to the endometrial cavity, which can cause pain, accompanied by conditions such as irregular bleeding and anaemia.

“[Gupta] was bleeding heavily, so the removal of the fibroid polyp became critical. To make matters complicated, she has adenomyosis, which occurs when the tissue that normally lines the uterus — the endometrial tissue — grows into the muscular wall of the uterus. This then aggravates the heavy bleeding,” Dr Mishra said.

Hour-long procedure

“We stabilised her within one day of hospitalisation. The surgery lasted for more than an hour. as it was a challenging case. Yet, in less than a day after the surgery, Gupta could eat and walk normally,” said Dr Noha Abdelghani, anaesthesia specialist at Bareen International.

Read more

“The hospital has given me a second lease of life — a blessing not only for me, but also for my family. I am the breadwinner of the household and I am truly grateful to the doctors and the hospital for this benevolence,” Gupta said.

“It is an honour for us to contribute to society and help the community, thereby giving our patients an opportunity to live a better and healthier life. We believe that we are privileged to be taking part in changing lives and giving people a new lease of life,” said Dr Ramzi Alshaiba, medical director at the hospital, which is located in Abu Dhabi’s Mohamed Bin Zayed City suburb.