UAE: NRI suffers heart attack while driving, saved after car crashes near hospital

News Network
September 13, 2022


Sharjah, Sept 13: A 57-year-old Indian expat in the UAE had a miraculous escape after he suffered a massive heart attack while driving, fell unconscious and crashed his car at a roundabout. Fortunately for Jacob John Nediambath, the crash happened near a hospital.

Dr Mohammed Shabbir P., head of Emergency Medicine at NMC Royal Hospital Sharjah, said: "We came to know from a few Good Samaritans about the accident at the roundabout outside our hospital. We dispatched a team of nurses and caregivers with stretchers. We found Jacob lying unconscious in his car. No other vehicle was involved in the accident. We got him to our ER and found him unresponsive to commands with no pulse. Accordingly, the Code Blue protocol — the systems and processes around a heart attack patient — was initiated. Time was a key factor in saving his life as more time could have damaged his heart permanently."

The doctors connected Jacob to a cardiac monitor and started giving him ventricular fibrillations to wake his heart up, along with cardiopulmonary resuscitation to maintain his oxygen levels. Gradually, the team found a pulse. They put him on a ventilator. Doctors diagnosed him with an ST elevation myocardial infarction (STEMI) — the “deadliest of heart attacks involving the left main coronary artery, also infamously called the widow artery”.

“A block here gives a massive heart attack, impacting 2/3rd of the heart. STEMI is total or near total blockage of this coronary artery. In a compromised heart function, a patient is most likely to have cardiac arrest and arrhythmias,” said Dr Adel Eryani, HOD & consultant interventional cardiologist at NMC Royal Hospital Sharjah.

‘Slight discomfort’

Jacob, an Indian, has been living in the UAE for 23 years. His wife, Bincy, and two children were away in their home country at the time of the incident.

Two days before he got the attack, he experienced discomfort in his left side, upper arm and shoulder region. He applied some balm, and the pain subsided.

As the pain resurfaced the next day, he decided to meet his general physician. He was on his way to meet his doctor when the accident happened.

"It was morning time, close to 11am. I do not remember anything except that I was diving to meet my GP. The next thing I knew, I was in the ICU of this hospital," said Jacob.

Jacob's wife, Bincy, said his colleagues came to know about his condition by late afternoon as he failed to report for duty. “I came to know in the evening, and coincidentally, I was to fly back the same night to Sharjah.”

The cholesterol connection

Jacob is very active and athletic, and doesn't have diabetes, obesity or hypertension.

Doctors explained that his cholesterol level was high, but it was not alarming enough for his GP to take notice and classify as high risk.

“He had no family history of diabetes, was a non-smoker and was considered a low-risk profile. His GP advised him on diet control and exercise … Such patients will always be advised to modify their lifestyle, focus on activity, and make healthier choices in terms of food.

High cholesterol should not be taken lightly as it can lead to surprising incidents like Jacob's. In the cases where the patients have advised medications, they must take them religiously without fail,” said Dr Adel.


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News Network
November 29,2023


An Israeli woman held by the military wing of the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas during the regime’s war on the Gaza Strip has thanked the movement’s fighters for their kind and humane behavior.

Daniel Aloni’s commendation came in a letter released by Palestinian media outlets on Monday. She was held in Gaza along with her six-year-old daughter Emelia.

The letter was written in Hebrew while Aloni was in detention in which she has praised the behavior of al-Qassam Brigades’ fighters who accompanied and guarded her and her daughter during the days they spent in the blockaded territory.

Daniel and her daughter were among the first batch of Israeli captives who were released on Friday after the Hamas movement reached a prisoner swap deal with the regime.

Other released Israeli captives have also testified to the good treatment they had received while in Hamas captivity.

After being released on humanitarian grounds, an 85-year-old Israeli woman said the Hamas fighters provided all the needs of the captives and gave them the same food that they themselves ate.

Aloni thanked al-Qassam fighters from the bottom of her heart for "extraordinary humanity that you have shown towards my daughter Emelia. You treated her like your own.”

She added that due to extraordinarily good care that Hamas fighters provided her daughter she “considered herself a queen in Gaza and felt like she was the center of the world.”

Here is the full text of Aloni’s letter, which has been translated from Hebrew:

“To the commanders who have accompanied me in recent weeks. It seems that we will part ways tomorrow, but I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your extraordinary humanity that you have shown towards my daughter Emelia. You treated her like your own. You welcomed her in your room whenever she walked in. She says that you are all her friends, not just acquaintances. You are her true and good loved ones. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the countless hours you spent with her as caregivers. Thank you for being patient with her and showering her with sweets, fruits, and everything available, even if it wasn’t readily accessible. Children should not be in captivity, but thanks to you and other kind-hearted individuals and leaders we have met during our presence here, my daughter considered herself a queen in Gaza and felt like she was the center of the world. We did not meet a single person, whether a member or leader, during our long stay [in Gaza] who did not treat her with kindness, tenderness, and love. I will forever be a captive of gratitude because she will not leave this place with a permanent psychological trauma. I will remember your kind manners, which you showed in here despite the difficult situation you were coping with yourselves, and the heavy losses that befell you here in Gaza. I wish in this world that we could be really good friends one day. I wish you all good health and well-being. Health and love to you and your families. Thank you very much. Daniel and Emelia.” 


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News Network
November 21,2023


Mangaluru: Chandrashekhara MK, 33, from Mujoor village of Kadaba, who was arrested after hackers used his credentials to open a bank account and make an illegal transaction in Riyadh, was released from the Saudi Arabian jail on Monday.

In November last year, Saudi Arabian police arrested him for a banking fraud involving SAR 22,000 (approximately Rs 4.8 lakh), after he shared an OTP number with an unidentified person.

Social activist Shridhar Gowda, who helped the family of Chandrashekhara to reach out to the Indian Embassy through people’s representatives, said he reached home via Mangaluru International Airport on Monday evening.

Gowda said that Chandrashekhara was working for Al Fanar Co in Riyadh. “More than a year ago, Chandrashekhara had visited a shop in Riyadh to buy a phone and SIM card. The shop had taken his thumb impression twice and thereafter he received a message in Arabic. Later, he received a call asking him to share an OTP sent to his mobile phone. Without knowing the consequences, he had shared the OTP,” he said.

In November last year, Saudi Arabian police arrested him for a banking fraud involving SAR 22,000 (approximately Rs 4.8 lakh). Finally, with the help of his friends and the company in which he was working, Chandrashekhara could walk out of the jail through a court order,” Gowda added.


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News Network
November 18,2023


London: What should have been a time of great joy and excitement has become a living nightmare for thousands of new and expectant mothers living under siege and constant Israeli bombardment in the Gaza Strip.

For Layla, 28, whose name has been changed for her safety, bringing a new life into the world at a time of so much death and destruction fills her with dread. “What worries me most is falling in love with life, amid all the death, once I hold my baby,” she said.

Like 5,500 other pregnant women in the Gaza Strip, Layla is due to give birth very soon amid an inhuman Israeli aggression that has devastated healthcare infrastructure and deprived the population of access to nutritious food, clean water and public sanitation.

The closure of hospitals and clinics under the intense bombardment and chronic shortages of electricity, fuel and medicine are among the biggest challenges faced by the roughly 50,000 pregnant women in Gaza.

As of Nov. 10, some 18 hospitals and 51 primary care centers across the embattled enclave are no longer operational, meaning fewer than 60 percent of hospitals and 30 percent of public health centers are operating to some degree.

Fikr Shalltoot, Gaza director for Medical Aid for Palestinians, or MAP, a British charity operating in the Palestinian enclave, said that pregnant women in Gaza “face a dire reality, with limited access to essential health services amid a near-total humanitarian disaster.”

“With over 180 births daily and a staggering 235 attacks on healthcare infrastructure since Oct. 7, the situation is critical,” Shalltoot told Arab News. This leaves women deprived of emergency obstetric services and forces many to give birth in unsafe conditions.

“Closed hospitals force births in shelters, homes and streets amid rubble, raising infection risks,” she said. “Maternity hospitals, like Al-Hilo, face attacks.”

Hospitals in Gaza have been on the frontline of the conflict, overwhelmed by wounded civilians since the start of Israel’s genocide campaign.

Some 135 health facilities across Gaza have been damaged or destroyed. Although these facilities are protected under international humanitarian law, Israel claims Hamas has been using hospitals, particularly Gaza’s largest, Al-Shifa, to host underground command centers.

Hamas and medical staff deny these facilities are being used to store weaponry, conceal hostages, or move fighters along a sophisticated network of tunnels. Israeli forces who took control of Al-Shifa on Wednesday failed to provide evidence to support their claim.

There are at least 650 patients, including 22 in intensive care and 36 premature babies, at Al-Shifa, according to local media, in addition to some 400 medical staff. More than 2,000 Gazans have also taken refuge within the facility.

Amid the destruction and shortages, made worse by Israel’s restrictions on the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, physicians have been forced to take extreme measures, such as performing cesareans without anesthetic or pain relief.

“Some women face complications while giving birth, and to stop the problem and because there are no (capabilities), tools, (or) time, (physicians) are faced with the extreme option to take out the uterus,” Soraida Hussein-Sabbah, gender and advocacy specialist at ActionAid Spain, said.

At Al-Awda Hospital, the only provider of maternity services in northern Gaza, doctors performed 16 cesarean C-sections last weekend under extremely challenging circumstances, according to local media.

Hussein-Sabbah said that although there are many trained and specialized obstetrics physicians and nurses in the Gaza Strip, as well as private and public maternity hospitals, “these cannot operate normally right now.”

Despite this, “any specialized person found in a shelter, or any place… will continue serving as much as possible,” she added.

Elaborating on the dangers of conducting cesareans under such extreme circumstances, Zaher Sahloul, head of MedGlobal, a US-based medical NGO, said that while “doctors typically try to deliver as fast as possible,” performing such surgery requires them to “cut through multiple layers” and then “suture multiple layers.”

Performing such an operation without anesthetic, or even a partial dosage of pain relief, would be agonizing.

“It is, as you can imagine, an extremely traumatic experience, something that would be associated with PTSD,” Sahloul told Arab News. Medical professionals are also forced to discharge new mothers within three hours, which poses additional risks.

New mothers are typically monitored for a minimum of 24 hours because the postpartum period is associated with various complications, including hemorrhage. Even before the latest outbreak of violence in Gaza, “the two biggest causes of (maternal) deaths were bleeding and sepsis,” said Sahloul.

“The lack of water and sanitation puts them at an even higher risk of infection and sepsis. (Hospitals) do not (even) have any blood to transfuse these patients if they start to have complications.”

Even if they survive the ordeal of childbirth in these conditions, mother and baby are not out of danger. The lack of hygiene facilities, nutritious food, clean drinking water, safe sleeping spaces, and other basic comforts and necessities threaten health and development.

Fatty acid and vitamin deficiencies in lactating mothers can compromise newborns’ immune systems, putting them at risk of communicable diseases as well as cognitive development challenges, said Sahloul.

Fatema, another woman trapped inside Gaza, has resorted to using clean clothes to manage discharge as she lacks access to sanitary towels. Embarrassed, and with limited privacy, she has then buried those clothes, she told ActionAid.

More than 1.4 million Palestinians have been displaced since Oct. 7, according to the UN’s humanitarian office, OCHA. Many have set up makeshift tents outside hospitals, while others have squeezed into the corridors of schools or have slept out in the open.

MedGlobal’s Sahloul warned that with limited access to food and water, malnourished women face the risk of “preterm delivery,” which is also associated with fetal and neonatal morbidity and mortality.

Shalltoot of MAP, meanwhile, cautioned that as access to obstetrics services becomes increasingly difficult, “maternal deaths will rise, stress-induced complications soar, and malnutrition worsen, affecting childhood survival.” Moreover, “without fuel, premature babies relying on neonatal care face a life-threatening crisis.”

She added: “Maternity care at Al-Awda Hospital hangs in the balance. Doctors report a surge in premature births due to the bombing of homes, a heartbreaking crisis where premature deliveries are performed while mothers lay dying.”

Three premature babies at Al-Shifa died on Tuesday after the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit was knocked out of operation. The lives of at least 36 others are in danger amid a lack of electricity and fuel for incubators, according to the facility’s director.

With women and children making up more than 70 percent of the casualties — one in four of them women of reproductive age — access to maternal health services is critical, said Shalltoot.

“Gaza is in urgent need of support to protect the lives of mothers and newborns,” she said, adding that “a ceasefire is imperative for pregnant women and infants.”

She said: “Without immediate access to fuel, aid, and medical experts, we face the looming threat of infectious diseases. Mass starvation, treatable deaths and a healthcare system in ruins are imminent unless swift action is taken.

“Opening multiple crossings is crucial to prevent a humanitarian freefall. Our plea is clear — act now to avert a catastrophic crisis.”

MAP has delivered a range of items, including medications and medical disposables that can be used to support delivery and the treatment of women and babies. “With our partner in Gaza, Ard El Insan, we have released all of our medications and food items for malnourished children and their families,” Shalltoot added.

Save the Children and ActionAid have also called for an immediate ceasefire and the opening of a humanitarian aid corridor.

“For this to happen, there is a need for a unified and coordinated call and pressure for the Rafah crossing to open, and the Israeli occupation forces to comply with international humanitarian law and allow for aid to come and civilians to be saved,” said ActionAid’s Hussein-Sabbah.

As of Nov. 17, over 12,000 people, including 5,000 children, according to officials in Gaza. There are also more than 30,000 injuries, 75 percent of which are women and children.

There are 3,750 missing persons, including 1,800 children who are still under the rubble, it said as the official death toll in Gaza had not been updated for days due to the collapse of the its health system.

Earlier this month, Antonio Guterres, the UN secretary-general, described Gaza as “a graveyard for children” and “a crisis of humanity.”

In a statement, Save the Children said: “During this humanitarian catastrophe, civilians, especially children, continue to pay the heaviest price for the ongoing violence.

“Children are being killed at a devastating rate, whole families are being wiped from the registry, and a growing number of people, including children, are being left with no surviving family members.”

Attacks on schools and hospitals are considered “a grave violation against children by the UN and may amount to violations of international humanitarian law.”

Calling for an end to “the continued, systematic assaults,” the NGO said that “hospitals and schools cannot be battlegrounds, and children cannot be targets. Yet in Gaza, all three are attacked on a daily basis.

“Even during wartime, basic elements of humanity must prevail.”


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