Bringing a baby into the world is a joyous time for any loved-up couple. But for these newlyweds, it’s a mix of love and overwhelming frustration and heartbreak.
Forced to pay massive medical bills for the unplanned, premature birth of their first child, this couple is now agonisingly caught ‘in the system’.
And the hospital is holding their newborn as ransom until they can pay their hefty $180k bill. So with that kind of hospital bill hanging over them, preventing them from taking home their newborn baby, what’s next?
Loved up newlyweds
Married last year, Dubai-born Syeda and British Azhar had planned to live happily ever after in the UK following their December wedding. Unfortunately, life didn’t go according to plan.
Syeda said: “I planned to move to the UK with my husband who is British. After my wedding, I went to the UK on a visitor visa for two months and came back to Dubai to apply for my spouse visa in March. I got pregnant in January.”
“My visa for the UK got rejected because we submitted the wrong kind of IELTS test, based on our solicitor’s advice.”
“We tried to appeal the decision of the visa, which is still under process, in the hope that it would be overturned by October and I could deliver our baby in the UK.”
Complications lead to unplanned birth
“Due to severe complications with my pregnancy we enlisted the help of one of only two foetal specialists in Dubai,” says Syeda.
“I went for a regular check-up on the 14th July and was immediately admitted to NMC Royal Hospital. My amniotic fluid was very low and our baby’s heart rate and blood pressure were decreasing rapidly.”
The couple asked to go to a government hospital but their request was denied. Azhar says “We wanted her to give birth at a government hospital but 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.”
As previously stated, Azhar and Syeda had planned on welcoming their first-born into the world on UK soil. However, Syeda’s visa application had been rejected “due to solicitor negligence”.
“They immediately did an emergency c-section and our baby was delivered by the grace of God,” says Azhar.
A beautiful baby girl and a HUGE hospital bill
Arriving twenty-three weeks early, baby Amal weighs less than a bag of sugar (400g). Indeed she is only as big as her mother’s hand.
Along with the joy that comes with a newborn baby, Syeda and Azhar faced a huge hospital bill. Besides their bundle of joy, Syeda and Azhar’s hospital bill stands at AED$444,123.68. This converts to just under $180,000 Australian dollars.
“As I did not plan to deliver my baby in Dubai, I do not have any insurance. No insurance company is covering us knowing our baby is in critical condition and will be in the NICU for the next 3-4 months”
What’s more, the couple is expecting the bill to exceed AED$800,000 (or $322,000 Australian Dollars) by the time baby Amal is ready to be discharged!
No money, no baby
Syeda and Azhar are trying all that they can to pay the huge medical bill for their daughter’s unplanned birth.
“We tried to reason with the hospital, offering monthly instalments based on our capabilities. They rejected our notion and astonishingly asked for the whole payment upfront or split up the payment in three instalments. We have no other option. My husband who works in the UK is suffering terribly from this and can not be with me as we require six payslips to be able to re-apply for a visa again.”
On a final, flabbergasting note from the couple, they say, “the hospital has threatened legal action and the doctor has advised they won’t give us our daughter back until the bill is totally cleared.”
Any help will do
The new parents continue to fight and raise money any way they can to raise the much-needed funds to get their baby back. Obviously, they still hope they can reach some sort of agreement with the Dubai hospital. In the meantime, donations continue to flood in via their Go Fund Me page.