x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Sharjah boy with pesticide poisoning to be released from hospital

Abdul Rahman Hisham, 6, was admitted with his sister, Habiba, 2, to Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah nearly two weeks ago with severe symptoms of poisoning.

Abdul Rahman Hisham was admitted to hospital with his sister nearly two weeks ago with severe symptoms of poisoning.
Abdul Rahman Hisham was admitted to hospital with his sister nearly two weeks ago with severe symptoms of poisoning.

SHARJAH // Little Abdul Rahman Hisham leaves hospital tomorrow, and he knows his little sister will not be going home with him.

Abdul Rahman, 6, and his sister Habiba, 2, were admitted to Al Qassimi Hospital almost two weeks ago after being poisoned by an illegal pesticide being used in a flat near to theirs.

Habiba died just a few hours later.

“He asked about his sister the moment that he woke up,” said his mother, Shimaa Sadek. “For one week we refused to tell him that she passed away.

“But after he was moved to the ward we found out that he knew all along. At that point I sat and explained to him what happened.”

The tragic news deeply affected the boy. “Days would pass where he’d refuse to eat, he wouldn’t talk, and sometimes I would notice that he would go into deep thought,” Mrs Sadek said.

Abdul Rahman was stricken with septicaemia, a blood infection that leads to heart weakness. He remained in the hospital’s paediatric intensive care unit and was given inotropic support to his heart.

His condition was critical for about a week but last week Abdul Rahman was removed from his respirator and a few days later he was taken from intensive care to the hospital’s paediatric ward.

Dr Elham Al Amiri, a paediatric consultant at the hospital who was treating the boy, said echocardiogram results showed Abdul Rahman was in the clear and it was safe to him to go home.

“His heart is now functioning normally but he still needs to come back for follow-up,” Dr Al Amiri said. “God willing, it seems like he will have a good recovery. All we can do now is monitor. All his organs are fine.”

The hospital has given Abdul Rahman a week off school and told his parents he should avoid physical exertion. He will be reassessed the following week to see if he can return to school and if any further treatment is required.

Doctors were fearful at first because there is no antidote for the particular toxin, but Abdul Rahman responded well to treatment.

Mrs Sadek said she was relieved that her boy is now out of danger, and Abdul Rahman’s excitement about leaving the hospital is evident on his smiling face.

He is able to walk normally, and although he has lost a lot of weight he has regained his appetite. His memory seems to be unaffected.

“He remembers everything until the moment he was admitted into the ICU,” Mrs Sadek said.

Blood tests showed that he was exposed to the banned pesticide aluminium phosphide. Further investigation led officers to discover 26 capsules of the poison that were placed by an unlicensed pest control company while the tenants were out of the country.

Police tracked down the two men who had used the chemical in the flat and discovered a group of seven Bangladeshi men who had turned their own flat into a makeshift office and factory to mix the banned chemicals. The men were arrested and referred to prosecutors.

Mrs Sadek said authorities must take full control of the matter.

mismail@thenational.ae