Living on the brink. Jedidah with her three-month-old baby girl in Dubai.
Dubai: Homeless, broke and in utter despair, a Kenyan woman, who delivered a baby girl three months ago, is desperately looking for support to clear her hospital bill of Dh14,000, while hoping for a miracle that can turn around her “miserable life”.
Twenty-eight-year-old Jedidah told XPRESS she came to Dubai on a one-month visit visa last February to look for a job, but ended up overstaying and in debt. “I was four months pregnant at the time but separated from my husband. I wanted to get away from my circumstances back home, so I came here hoping to find employment. But that was not to be as I am still jobless and in a complete mess.”
Easier said than done
She said as she overstayed in Dubai, every passing day weighed on her as her pregnancy too advanced. “Before I knew it, I was in the ninth month of my term and was tired, both physically and mentally. I wanted to surrender myself to the authorities and present my case to them, so I could return home for my delivery,” she said.
But Jedidah said that was easier said than done and she found herself at the door of a shelter for women and children. “For days earlier, I would go without eating and just sleeping in the open. When I contacted the shelter, they put me up at a hotel. I had to vacate the following day. My body was tired, my head hurt and my feet were swollen. With nowhere to go, I went to the nearest metro station and sat there crying.”
Jedidah said a kind-hearted man who was passing by helped her to get medical help. But it was not without its share of challenges as she went from one hospital to another. She said she had no money or the necessary papers for admission and her blood pressure had shot up. “It was time for my delivery and I ran into a bill of Dh14,277. I could not pay the amount, so I was held and my passport confiscated.”
With tears in her eyes, she said, “I still do not have my passport. My baby girl is already three months old and has not had her vaccination shots since I don’t have any money. I cannot go back to Kenya until I clear my hospital dues and get my passport back. I can’t even get a birth certificate for my daughter. I continue to look for a job as a nanny but nothing is working out for me.”
She said, “Only a miracle can help me turn my life around. I hope someone is listening.”
If you wish to help Jedidah, write to firstname.lastname@example.org