A British couple has been billed £100,000 after their daughter was born while they were in a Dubai. Azhar Saleem, 26, from Birmingham, says he and Syeda Khola Adnan, 23, have been told they can’t take their baby home until they settle their debt.
The baby, who was born at around 23 weeks through emergency cesarean, weighed only 14 ounces at birth. Saleem and Adnan got married in Dubai in December 2018 and got pregnant in January after returning to the UK. Adnan had been on a visit visa but returned to Dubai in March to apply for a spouse visa so that she could live and have her baby in England.
Adnan says her visa was rejected because they submitted the wrong information after consulting with a lawyer who mislead them. The couple appealed the decision hoping it would be overturned by the time Amal was due, but on July 14 Adnan was rushed to the hospital where and an emergency cesarean was performed. She had been at an appointment with a fetal specialist at NMC Royal Hospital when doctors observed discovered her baby’s heart rate and blood pressure dropping. Adnan was immediately admitted.
“[She was] the tiniest but most beautiful little baby. 23 weeks premature weighing only 400 grams and the size of my hand,” Adnan said. “We initially wanted to go to a government hospital but because of how quickly events unfolded this was no longer an option.”
Brit dad’s agony as Dubai hospital 'refuses to return newborn daughter to devastated couple until they pay £100,000 medical bill' https://t.co/Y2XJKqFcgN— The Sun (@TheSun) September 25, 2019
“Everything spiraled 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,” Saleem added.
The couple, who doesn’t have insurance in the United Arab Emirates, are now faced with a £100,000 medical bill, that could increase to £200,000 as the premature baby’s care continues. The couple says the hospital will only allow them to finance the cost for a year, meaning they could be stuck with a £16,000 a month bill.
Dubai is considered one of the world's most expensive cities. The city follows Geneva and Brussels in a 13-city cost of living list, which measures basic monthly expenses like food and clothing as well as accommodation, international school tuition, language lessons and household help for a family with children, according to Swiss bank UBS.
Saleem, who is currently in the UK working, must provide six months of payslips to secure a spouse visa for Adnan. The couple have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to pay their hospital bill. Meanwhile, they are desperate to bring their daughter home.
British father says Dubai hospital refuses to release his baby unless he pays £100,000 medical bill https://t.co/QPGo2y2wFt— i newspaper (@theipaper) September 17, 2019
“We really need help to bring my baby home, any kind of help would be appreciated. you don’t realize the situations you can find yourself in until you find yourself in them,” Adnan said. “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 posted on the GoFundMe page show that baby Amal despite being ‘extremely immature’ is showing ‘stable vital signs’, with normal blood gases, glucose and electrolytes values. Donations to the couple’s GoFundMe page can be made here.