190911 syeda khola
Syeda Khola Adnan was to join her husband in the UK, but her visa was rejected over a wrong IELTS score. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: The mother of a prematurely born baby girl is seeking help to clear a hospital bill that has reached almost Dh450,000 even as the child battles for life in neonatal intensive care (NICU) at NMC Royal Hospital in Dubai Investment Park.

Dubai-based Pakistani Syeda Khola Adnan, 23, told Gulf News that Amal, her first child, was born ahead of term in the 23rd week of gestation after the baby’s heart rate dropped alarmingly while she developed pregnancy related complications.

No insurance 

“I don’t know what to do. Amal is likely to remain in NICU for a few more weeks. I am afraid by the time she’s discharged, the hospital bill would have touched a million dirhams. Where am I going to get that kind of money?” she wondered.

Syeda, who got married to Briton Azhar in December 2018, said neither she nor her newborn have any insurance cover.

Plans gone awry

“I wasn’t planning to deliver the baby in the UAE. In fact, I was hoping to relocate to the UK with my husband but fate ordained otherwise. After my wedding, I went to the UK on a two-month visit visa. I returned in March and applied for a UK spouse visa. Unfortunately, my visa got rejected after I mistakenly submitted the wrong IELTS score. By now I was already three months pregnant. We appealed the decision. I thought it would be overturned and I would be in UK in time to deliver my baby who was due in October,” she recalled.

Syeda said she had gone to NMC Royal Hospital for a routine check on July 14 when the doctors found that her amniotic fluid was critically low.

Avoiding foetal death 

“The child’s heart rate was also dropping. They immediately admitted me and delivered the baby with the help of an emergency C-section avoiding foetal death.

NMC hospital said their entire team of neonatologists, intensivists and nurses worked round the clock and saved the ‘miracle baby’ who was under severe oligohydramnios - a condition characterised by a deficiency of amniotic fluid - with severe distress.

“The little life fought hard and is doing good.

NMC stands by its principles of nurturing and nourishing life and we would do everything possible to help the family in these challenging times. We are aware of the financial status of the family yet our focus thus far has been the little one and her recovery,” a hospital spokesperson said in an email statement to Gulf News.

Indebted parents 

Azhar said had it not been for the hospital’s timely intervention, her child wouldn’t have been alive. Our little angel weighed just 400 grams when she was born.

She’s managed to survive the odds but her condition remains critical. Meanwhile, the hospital bill continues to mount with each passing day. We just got married and have barely any savings” he said over the phone from UK.

Syeda, who is on a student’s visa and lives with her family in Al Mizhar, said there’s no way they could pay the huge bill

“We are trying to contact charities that would help us pay, but at the moment we haven’t heard back from any of them,” she said.