A British dad is facing a medical bill of £100,000 after his wife prematurely gave birth while in a Dubai hospital. Azhar Saleem, 26, from Birmingham, says he and Syeda Khola Adnan, 23, have been told they can’t take their daughter Amal home until they start paying the money.
The tiny baby was born at around 23 weeks through emergency cesarean and weighed just 14 ounces, which is lighter than a can of baked beans. Mr Saleem and Ms Adnan got married in Dubai in December 2018 and fell pregnant in January while back in the UK. Ms Adnan, who had been on a visit visa, then returned home to Dubai in March to apply for a spouse visa so that she could live and give birth in England.
However, she claims her visa was rejected because they submitted the wrong information based on incorrect solicitor advice. The couple then appealed the decision in hope that it would be overturned by October when Amal was due, but on July 14 Ms Adnan was rushed in for an emergency cesarean.
She had been attending an appointment with a fetal specialist at NMC Royal Hospital when medics discovered her baby’s heart rate and blood pressure was dropping, causing her to be immediately admitted there.
Ms Adnan said: “[She was] the tiniest but most beautiful little baby. 23 weeks premature weighing only 400 grams and the size of my hand. We initially wanted to go to a government hospital but because of how quickly events unfolded this was no longer an option.”
Mr Saleem told The Sun: “Everything spiralled so quickly we didn’t have the choice because they advised if they didn’t deliver as soon as possible, my baby wouldn’t make it.” The couple, who doesn’t have insurance, has now been hit with a £100,000 medical bill, that could increase to £200,000 as Amal’s care continues.
They claim the hospital won’t allow them to spread the cost over any more than a year, meaning they could have to pay more than £16,000 a month. Mr Saleem is currently unable to be with his wife in Dubai as he works in the UK and must supply six months of payslips in order to secure a spouse visa for her. The couple has now set up a crowdfunding page in hope of being able to pay off even a small portion of what they owe.
Ms Adnan said: “We really need help to bring my baby home, any kind of help would be appreciated. you don’t realise the situations you can find yourself in until you find yourself in them. “I have never thought of asking for help before in my life, but sometimes you have to bite the bullet and your pride and do everything you can to bring your loved ones, in this instance our baby home.”
Documents shared on the GoFundMe page state that although baby Amal is ‘extremely immature’ she is showing “stable vital signs.” with normal blood gases, glucose and electrolytes values. NMC Royal Hospital has been contacted for comment, Metro reported.