Monday, August 30, 2021

Indian expat on ventilator repatriated home to Kerala in air ambulance

A 55-year-old paralysed blue-collar worker, who has been on a mechanical ventilator in the ICU for over 100 days, was finally repatriated to his hometown in Kerala, India, late Sunday night.

Moideenkutty Cheruvakkath, a Malappuram native, was flown to Calicut International Airport in a stretcher seat onboard an Air India flight with a medical team consisting of a doctor and a nurse. According to Naseer Vatanapally, the social worker assisting Cheruvakkath, the Consulate General of India in Dubai fully supported the financial costs of his repatriation.

Furthermore, since Cheruvakkath did not have medical insurance, he had raked up more than Dh570,000 in hospital bills at Aster Mankhool Hospital, where he received treatment. “A charity organisation donated nearly Dh200,000 towards the bill, and the hospital waived off the remaining,” Dr Sherbaz Bichu, CEO of Aster Hospitals and Clinics, UAE, told Khaleej Times.

“Emergency medical services took him to a private clinic as he suffered severe hand pain, and when he underwent tests, doctors found that he has a variation in his heartbeat. He was referred to a cardiologist at the clinic, and since he couldn’t afford to pay for the treatment, they asked him to travel home and undergo further treatment.”

Cheruvakkath was excited to fly home and meet his family. “Unfortunately, his condition worsened while he was getting his PCR test done,” added Dr Sherbaz. He was applying for a pre-travel Covid-19 test at a testing centre when he suffered a life-threatening heart complication nearly four months ago.

“He was rushed to Aster Hospital by the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team, and a life-saving procedure was performed by specialist interventional cardiologist Dr Naveed Ahmed,” he added.

Cheruvakkath stayed in the ICU for 120 days until he recovered enough to fly back home and reunite with his family. “Although he did not have medical insurance, the treatment continued in the best interest of saving and sustaining life. Aster Hospital also supported the patient financially, and I feel blessed and accomplished to see him reaching his home safely,” added Dr Sherbaz.

30/08/21 Dhanusha Gokulan/Khaleej Times

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