Emotions overflow as Eman leaves one ‘home’ for another

Eman left for further treatment to Abu Dhabi's Burjeel Hospital on Thursday from Mumbai. During her departure from Saifee Hospital, the staff, who attended to her, bid a tearful goodbye

Emotions overflow as Eman leaves one ‘home’ for another
Eman Ahmed with the Saifee Hospital staff who attended to her in her 82 day stay at the hospital

For the last couple of months, this was her home. That special cabin at the Saifee Hospital, those known caretakers, the nurses had become all too familiar for Eman.

She didn’t want to leave them all.

The nurses bade a farewell to Eman in room No701 on the seventh floor of the hospital.

There were roses and the emotions were flowing — of both Eman and the nurses.

Perhaps, that’s why the disappointment was showing on her face as her sister Shaimaa Selim and the doctors were busy with the discharge process on Thursday afternoon. The Egyptian woman, who was operated in March, even pleaded her sister not to take her to Abu Dhabi.

“Eman was crying. She was emotional and told Shaimma that she doesn’t want to leave, to which Shaimaa was convincing her in Arabic that everything will be alright. She assured Eman that God is there,” Sujatha R, the head nurse at Saifee Hospital, said.

During her 82-day stay in the Hospital, a team of six nurses were looking after Eman. While Sujatha was not a part of the nursing team that monitored Eman on a regular basis, she would visit her daily and communicate with her in Arabic.

“I have worked in Muscat and picked up Arabic language from there. When Eman came to Saifee Hospital, I was asked to speak to her to make her feel at home,” said Sujatha.

Even as her sister alleged of medical negligence, Eman looked happy throughout her stay in the hospital.

But, things looked different on Thursday.

Not in her usual mood, Eman looked emotional as the final preparation was on.

“Every morning, I used to greet her. I would ask her how she is doing to which she used to reply ‘Tamam’ (good). Today, she refused to reply,” Sujatha said, adding, “I asked her if she is happy that she is leaving today. There were tears in her eyes and she didn’t reply.”

Amidst the chaos around regarding her discharge, Eman watched the proceedings calmly.

Though Eman’s departure had a tentative timeline, there was a small delay after Shaimaa refused to sign on the dossier, which had minute details of Eman’s treatment procedure in Saifee Hospital. However, things eased out following the intervention of state Health Minister Dr Deepak Sawant.

Amidst the growing speculations over her departure time, scribes waited impatiently outside the hospital as the news of a likely delay broke out. Finally, at 1pm, the Burjeel Hospital doctors, along with Eman and Shaimaa, left the hospital in an ambulance.

“It was an emotional moment. She gave me a flying kiss for one last time as she left our hospital for Abu Dhabi. I am glad that I could keep my promise of sending her in a sitting position. She is now 170kg. Her bariatric surgery was a miracle and now I pray that VPS Healthcare manages another miracle happen by making her walk,” said a rather emotional Dr Muffazal Lakdawala.

Lakdawala not only operated on Eman on March 7, but also played a key role in bringing her to Mumbai from her Alexandria home in Egypt.

A green corridor, which fast-tracks a VIP or emergency convoy, was facilitated by the government authorities so that Eman reached the airport on time.

Egyptian Counsel General in Mumbai, Ahmed Khalil who was present at Saifee Hospital thanked Dr Lakdawala and team for their efforts.

BJP leader, Shaina NC, who was present as a witness with along with Dr Sawant when Shaimaa signed the discharge papers, said, “ Obviously, after all the false allegations, the hospital authorities would want to make sure that their patient is going back in good health.

“It is the onus of the next hospital once they leave, and hence proper documentation with comprehensive reports and medical advice needed to be exchanged between the hospitals, and it was necessary to confirm that everything is in order,” Shaina added.

Her medical reports mentioned that Eman can be put on a drug trial if available for her monogenic obesity.

It also said, if however, the drug trial is not available, then she may need another malabsorpetive bariatric surgery after a minimum period of 18 months, but nothing before that.

That, however, is for the future. As the ambulance zoomed past the hospital, the expression on Eman’s face, perhaps, said it all — it’s not easy to leave a ‘home’ behind.