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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 September 2018

UAE Helping Hands: mother of disabled boy in urgent appeal to fund vital surgery

Ms Xin is unemployed and supports her son by selling toys on the streets of Dubai.

Single mother Jamila Xin needs to raise Dh200,000 to pay for surgery her son Abdullah urgently needs. Pawan Singh / The National
Single mother Jamila Xin needs to raise Dh200,000 to pay for surgery her son Abdullah urgently needs. Pawan Singh / The National

Three years ago, Jamila Xin left China for Dubai in search of a better life for her disabled son. After what she describes as a messy divorce, the 31-year-old struggled to support her son’s exorbitant medical fees in China.

“Living in China was very difficult for me and I was borrowing money from everyone to pay for my son’s treatment,” she says.

Her son, Abdullah Ao, had to have brain surgery at age two after doctors discovered a benign tumour.

After the surgery, however, severe complications developed.

“He lost his ability to speak, to move and to chew,” his mother says.

Abdullah, now six-years-old, needs intensive treatment and rehabilitation which his mother cannot afford.

Ms Xin is unemployed and supports her son by selling toys on the streets of Dubai.

“I do what I can. I sell toys, cushions and teach English and Chinese.” She earns around Dh4,000 a month which she says barely covers her rent and food.

“It is my duty as a mother to provide a safe home for my son and to treat him but I can only afford to feed him.”

Ms Xin enrolled her son in a school for special needs last year which cost Dh44,000 annually.

His rehabilitation sessions — which she can no longer afford — cost Dh15,000 per month.

“Abdullah was very happy in school and was improving with the rehabilitation sessions which he used to get three times a week for three hours.”

She stopped his treatment last year and since then Abdullah’s health has drastically deteriorated. “He can’t support his head anymore and cannot move or speak. He was getting better with rehabilitation but now he’s worse. He isn't gaining any weight and his muscles are wasting away.”

To make matters worse, doctors have said Abdullah needs urgent surgery otherwise he may never walk. The surgery costs Dh200,000.

“This was like a knife in my heart. I am doing everything I can for him but I still can’t raise enough money for his medical treatment,” she says.

Insurance companies refuse to insure her son.

“I was told to lie to the insurance company and not tell them that he is sick but I couldn’t bring myself to lie to them. He is too expensive for them to insure him and I understand that. His own father abandoned us because he said Abdullah was too much of a burden.”

Hospital visits cost around Dh1,000 for Abdullah who needs regular X-rays and check-ups.

“These hospital visits, I pay for myself.” She also pays Dh2,000 in rent for a small studio in Dubai.

Ms Xin says that in-spite of the difficulties, her son’s prospects are better in the UAE.

“Here at least I can afford to pay rent, buy food and get him seen by a doctor. In China, I couldn't even get a doctor to see him. Dubai is the land of opportunity which is why I left everything and came here but my son’s situation is getting critical.

“The Chinese community is small and I know that many will see it shameful that I am asking for assistance but I don't care, I’m prepared to do anything to get my son the help that he needs. Abdullah is the only person in my life that matters to me,” Ms Xin says.

Hisham Al Zahrani, manager of Zakat and Social Services at Dar Al Ber says, “Ms Xin needs assistance to pay for her son’s surgery and to enrol him in a school for special needs. Unfortunately, these costs are very high for most people without insurance regardless of their situation. Without support from generous benefactors, it is hard for the most vulnerable people to receive medical help and specialist treatment.”

salnuwais@thenational.ae

How to donate

Text the following numbers:

2289 - Dh10

6025 - Dh 20

2252 - Dh 50

2208 - Dh 100

6020 - Dh 200 

*numbers work for both Etisalat and du

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