Parents of baby born with paralysed vocal chords seek help

Sharjah family faces mounting hospital bills as new born suffers from multiple health problems

Sharjah: The distraught parents of a one-month-old baby girl with a life-threatening case are appealing for funds to pay huge hospital bills at a Sharjah hospital.

Baby Khadijah Ahmad, currently under treatment at University Hospital Sharjah, opened her eyes to the world suffering from a harsh vibrating noise when breathing as a result of a paralysis in her vocal cords and larynx.

Only a few months old, she developed respiratory failure and had to be kept inside an incubator following a tracheostomy procedure where a tube was inserted in her windpipe in order to help her breath.

Her father Ahmad Shahzad, from Pakistan, who only lives off Dh5,600 working as an accountant can only think about seeing his second daughter’s health condition improve so he can finally take her home.

“When my baby was born she was facing a lot of breathing problems and when the doctor’s examined her, they found out that her vocal cords are paralysed. She had to be immediately shifted to University Hospital Sharjah for treatment and until now she has to breath from a tube under the supervision of doctors,” said Shahzad, 33.

Doctors have informed Shahzad that his daughter’s vocal cords will automatically improve as she gains more weight and grows, but this could take six months or more and the hospital bills keep mounting.

“My baby also has air leaking from her lungs and facial paralysis, and she is being treated for that. Without oxygen she cannot survive. We need to wait, monitor her case and it will take time until she grows,” said Shahzad, who lives in Ajman.

The father of two said he struggled to find a hospital who can treat his daughter at first and then he was told his wife’s insurance would only cover a small portion of the treatment.

“I also made a basic insurance for baby Khadijah and they keep telling me it’s under evaluation. We are not getting any approval for treatment,” he said.

“She’s going through a life-threatening condition and I only can think about that now. I don’t wish anyone goes through this. I’m crying and her mother is weeping every day. We are going here and there to get help to save my child.”

Gulf News reviewed hospital records from University Hospital Sharjah, which were provided by Shahzad. Documents showed that the baby’s treatment at the hospital between September 14, when she was admitted, up until October 21, cost Dh130,016.

The hospital documents also stated that the child will need further hospitalisation at the emergency unit for at least two months until her condition improves. They estimated that the cost of treatment, from October 21 to December 20, will be Dh227,000.

“My wife is very distressed. We have to go to the hospital every day because she can’t sleep unless she sees her baby. She has not rested since Khadijah was born. I believe in the generosity of the people in the UAE and I know they will help me. I believe my daughter will be fine,” he said.

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