From being sleepless wondering how to survive to receive donations from the prince of Dubai: a positive unheard story.
Abdulkareem had since July 1st, the date when he welcomed his newborn four babies – been spending very worrying and anxious nights because he is not in a position to foot the whopping medical bill of $11,500.
He explained: “I had been sleepless wondering how to pay the bill,” as his job as a chef at a restaurant in the city centre of Dubai is not making his family a living.
His 29-year-old wife Suliyat Adulkareem about a month ago gave birth to two boys and two girls at the Latifa Hospital for Women and Children– two months ahead of the expected date. The quadruplets had to be placed immediately on ventilators at the neonatal intensive care unit after an emergency C-section.
The couple’s initial plan was to move to their home country, Nigeria, to deliver the babies since they did not have any health insurance in Dubai. However, the coronavirus travel restrictions got them stranded in the United Arab Emirates where the health insurance is very expensive and prohibitive.
They have been living on handouts from fellow Nigerian nationals, unable to pay for the basic necessities, and then the couple moved to a hostel in Dubai, but the cost of renting a bigger place was going to overwhelm them. Yet, they did need a bigger space to accommodate their new guests at home once discharged from the hospital, but the question about how to pay for it was still pending.
Yet, the story of the Adulkareems and his wife dominated mainstream media headlines and caught the eye of the Crown Prince in Dubai. And since then everything changed forever.
“It’s just a huge favour, and we are still in shock because we didn’t even know how to get the money,” Tijani Abdulkareem said when he was informed that the Dubai Crown Prince was paying the medical bills of his newborn babies.
From the reported sources, the Prince, namely Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, instructed his office to pay the hospital expenses of the “Nigerian mother and her quadruplets stranded in the city with mounting medical bills.”
It was all tears of joy and gratitude when officials at the Latifa Hospital for Women and Children reported the good news to Adulkareem and his wife, who had just welcomed the 4 newborns.
However, the family has already tried to return the favour in their way by calling two of their babies after the Crown Prince, and one of the girls will be called Latifa after the hospital.
The couple declared in a statement reproduced by The National that “We would like to express our gratitude on behalf of the family to the UAE leaders, Sheikh Hamdan and the Latifa Women and Children’s Hospital for the love and compassion shown to our family during this challenging and beautiful experience.
“We are immensely grateful, and we can’t thank you all enough. It is only Allah that can repay you all for all the good deeds. We will never forget you.
“The family hopes that this very little gesture demonstrates the family’s gratitude and appreciation to the leadership and the love we have for this country,” the couple said. “We hope if given the chance, to personally thank Sheikh Hamdan for his unconditional love and benevolence. If that opportunity does not arise, we would hope that our message somehow gets to him.”
“Finally we would like to express our gratitude to the Nigerian community in the UAE, the Nigerian Consulate UAE, the Portuguese and other residents that have come to our aid during this time. The diversity in the country is its strength. Without the openness and welcoming nature of the UAE leaders and people, we would not have had the opportunity to witness this love. God bless the UAE, its leaders, citizens and the residents,” the statement added.
The family also expressed gratitude to the Nigerian community and other nationals who came for the occasion to help them out by paying their rent for two months in advance giving them a bigger place to live in. Abdulkareem cried: “We have been getting calls from Portuguese and Brazilian nationals in Dubai. People have been trying to reach us. The Nigerian community has been following us every step of the way”.
Luckily, after days and days of treatments and constant care, the quadruplets are no longer on ventilators and two of them now weigh 1.8kg. Doctors said that they expect the babies to be soon strong enough to be discharged.