Dubai: A British father of three, including a special needs girl, is desperate for help as he grapples with unemployment and a huge debt to repay in the UAE.
“This is a desperate email, but an ordinary act of fatherhood,” Matt Cox, who has lived and worked in the country since 2003, wrote to Gulf News, hoping readers would help him find a way out of his difficult situation.
In January this year, his wife delivered identical twin girls. They also have an older child.
“My wife had a difficult pregnancy, including an emergency surgery at 20 weeks’ gestation. Unfortunately, one of the twins suffered a neuronal migration disorder, which is caused by a genetic mutation early on in the pregnancy. It was not detected and as a consequence, she has life-changing medical issues, including significant and widespread brain abnormalities,” Cox said.
The little girl remained in the NICU unit of an Abu Dhabi hospital for 132 days and had two surgeries in that period. In and out of hospital since then, she has been unable to feed orally and is connected to a feeding pump 24 hours a day.
“She is registered with the UAE authorities as being a person of determination. We are awaiting approval for an Aounak card in Abu Dhabi, which provides for certain access to medical treatment at select facilities… Her ongoing care incurs significant non-insured expenses and is basically a 24/7 operation, currently done by family, not home nursing professionals,” he claimed.
He said his problems are compounded by the fact that his savings are fast depleting.
“I have significant personal debt, which was being serviced by my relatively high-paying job,” he said, adding that once his visa is cancelled, his insurance will lapse, and all medical care for his daughter would either end or become chargeable.
“Unless I find another job here when my visa is cancelled, I have to leave the country with my wife and three children. This is reasonable. However, due to my debt burden, I may have my passport blacklisted in immigration, meaning I cannot travel. My wife, a Filipina, has an open visit visa for the UK, but only until December. After this, she will be required to leave the country,” Cox said.
“I have felt lost and helpless for the last six months and now, without an income, my situation is beyond desperate. Only a miracle can save me and family.”