Sharjah, UAE: The 70-year-old Syrian man weighing 300kg who was extricated from his fourth-floor apartment in Sharjah on Tuesday evening by Civil Defence firefighters using a firetruck ladder is an illegal resident who has not left his apartment for the last three years.
Gulf News visited the man, identified by his family as H.M.K., in his room in Al Kuwaiti Hospital, and found him connected to a breathing machine, his voice barely audible.
He told Gulf News, “I appreciate the treatment which I received from the Civil Defence team … they dealt with my situation gently and with humanity … All my respects to them,” he said.
They even called the hospital to enquire about his health on Wednesday, H.M.K’s son told him.
The man and his wife, who is also 70, had came from Syria to the UAE on a visit visa in 2013 and had since failed to get residence visas. Their daughter, who worked as a teacher in Abu Dhabi and earned Dh12,000 salary, applied twice for their residence visas but the applications were rejected both times despite medical reports being submitted as the daughter’s salary did not match the required salary level of Dh20,000.
As illegal residents, the man and his wife then started living with their youngest son in Abu Shagara in Sharjah.
His youngest son, M., told Gulf News that his father could not move from his bed since 2014 due to his obesity.
On Monday, the son said he noticed his father’s face turning pale as he became unconscious. It was evident that he needed to be taken to a hospital, he said.
“At 4.30pm, I contacted the ambulance service, which came and attempted to lift my father but they failed. Later, two more ambulance services arrived for assistance but they failed as well. They couldn’t carry my father via the elevator [his size is bigger than the space inside the elevator] nor could they take him down the stairs. The rescue team then contacted the Civil Defence for assistance,” said M.
The firefighters arrived at 6pm and first, they removed the rail of the apartment’s balcony and carried the man out using a firetruck ladder and the National Ambulance transported him to Al Qasimi hospital, from where he was moved to Al Kuwaiti Hospital.
The operation took nearly 90 minutes to complete.
Dr Mohammad Ebrahim, Cardiologist, Consultant and Head of Medical Department at Al Kuwaiti Hospital, told Gulf News that the man was not suffering from any diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure or heart conditions that could lead to obesity. He is only having respiratory problems.
However due to his weight, the medical staff could not carry out medical exams on the man as the medical devices could not take the load, Dr Ebrahim told Gulf News. “We used alternative methods to assess his medical condition.”
Wrong food choices, the doctor said, had caused the man to put on so much weight.
In fact, in 2014, H.M.K had been admitted to Al Kuwaiti Hospital for respiratory problems and at that time, he weighed 200 kilos. He had been in the hospital for a month and had been advised to reduce his weight.
Dr Kareem Mohammad Mustafa, Cardiologist Consultant at Al Kuwaiti Hospital, who took up the man’s case in 2014, told Gulf News that the man reached this condition [of obesity] because he did not move or walk at all, and only stayed in bed and ate.
The man’s son said in 2014, his father’s medical bill at Al Kuwaiti Hospital totalled Dh100,000 but taking his father’s and family’s condition into consideration, the hospital administration had waived the sum.
“I appreciate their effort,” the son said.
He had on many occasions approached a number of charity organisations to provide help for his father but as his father did not have a residence visa, it was not possible to get help, he said.
© Gulf NewsFeb 2017