Community volunteers Naseer Vatanappally (left) and Kareem Valapad see off Sandheev while he was being transported from the hospital to the airport. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: An Indian man, who came to the UAE to look for a job, was repatriated on a stretcher more than a month after he suffered a brain haemorrhage here.

The Indian Consulate in Dubai, a private hospital — where the patient had been admitted — and social workers joined hands to fly the bedridden father-of-two from Dubai to Kerala on Tuesday.

Sandheev P.A

According to the consulate, the patient, Sandheev P.A, 43, had arrived in the UAE on a visit visa. “His case was brought to our attention by social worker Naseer Vatanappally,” a consulate official told Gulf News. He said Sandheev had reportedly arrived late April in search of a job. On May 15, he suffered severe headache and dizziness, following which he was rushed to Aster Hospital Al Qusais.

Medical report

Dr Chelladurai Hariharan, specialist neurosurgeon, who treated Sandheev, said the patient was admitted with severe bleeding in the brain. “His condition was critical. His blood pressure levels were very high with a low pulse rate. He was unconscious and was brought to the hospital by his friends,” the doctor said in a statement to Gulf News.

Dr Chelladurai Hariharan

“We immediately put him on life-support and subjected him to an emergency procedure. We fixed the bleeding in the brain and sucked out the blood. Within a few days, his condition improved and he started to breathe without the support of machines.” Following this, ventilator support was taken off, Dr Hariharan said.

“He has started opening his eyes and his body is responding well. But, he would require continuous care and will take about six months or more to recover completely. At present, his muscles are weak, but he will gradually improve following physiotherapy and other supportive care,” he added.

Vatanappally and another community volunteer Kareem Valapad, who helped coordinate the repatriation process, said Sandheev had not taken a traveller’s medical insurance. “Thanks to the hospital and the consulate, we managed to fly him yesterday (Tuesday),” said Vatanappally. “He is from a poor family. He has a girl aged four and a one-and-a-half-year-old boy. His wife needs support for his treatment,” he said.

Travel insurance

The consulate said it bore the expenses for Sandheev’s stretcher ticket and for a nurse as a medical escort.

The mission reiterated the need for travellers on visit visas to have medical insurance for emergency health issues. It added that people should not be flying on visit visas to look for jobs and urged blue-collar workers to seek recruitment in UAE from India through the e-Migrate online recruitment system.

“People should not take the risk of flying in on visit visas without taking traveller’s insurance and insurance coverage for COVID-19. Many people continue to skip this requirement just for saving one or two hundred dirhams,” added Vatanappally.