DUBAI // Brenda Dalit said she was given “a second chance” after doctors assured her that she would die.
The Filipina, who lives in Dubai, had a heart disorder and could not afford life-saving surgery. In April she appealed to The National for help and her plight was published. Readers immediately responded and today Mrs Dalit owes “my life to God and to them”.
The single mother had mitral valve disease, where one of the main valves in the heart does not function properly.
Ms Dalit had come to the UAE to find a job that would let her put her daughter through law school, and support her brother and his son. She found a job as a clerk at a travel agency with a salary of Dh3,000.
Doctors told her that she needed to have a procedure where a balloon is used to open up the valve.
She took a Dh30,000 loan to have it done but a month before surgery she suffered an attack and was taken to hospital. The money all went to hospital bills and medication.
Right before she resorted to The National through Dar Al Ber Society, doctors told her that the valve was now badly damaged and she must have immediate surgery, otherwise she may die. She was due to have the surgery in 10 days but did not have the means to pay for it .
“God is great and I had faith that He will put in my path people who will help me,” she said. “And he did.”
The surgery cost Dh40,000 and readers donated the amount, helping her have the surgery as scheduled.
“The surgery was successful and I’m in good health,” she said. Ms Dalit has now resumed her job.
Fellow Filipina Sharon Mendoza was diagnosed with cancer in October and her case was published in The National in February. She has completed her chemotherapy sessions, which she describes as “the worst nightmare anyone can have”.
Dr Mendoza, 46, was divorced and came to the UAE in 2006, before becoming a professor in business management at a university in Sharjah. The single mother has two children – a 20-year-old son and a 19-year-old daughter.
When she felt a lump in her breast, she said she “never suspected that it was breast cancer because there is no family history”.
On December 21, she had a mastectomy and, on January 11, surgery to insert a port for the chemotherapy, which she started about two weeks later. Dr Mendoza required five sessions and radiation therapy, which she could not afford at the time.
“My insurance covered my mastectomy and the chemo port surgery but it can no longer cover the rest of my treatment,” she said.
Thanks to the donations of readers, Dr Mendoza managed to pay and complete her chemotherapy. She is now undergoing radiation therapy but said the worst is over. “Thanks to God and the support I got from you [The National] and Dar Al Ber and my students, I managed to complete my sessions and start my radiotherapy. Thank you,” she said.
Ameer Bachache, a 13-year-old from Algeria, was born with several deformities in his legs and arms. Some were caused by a dislocation and fracture of his hip during birth, said his father, Said Bachache, 55.
Since birth, Ameer has had 17 operations on his legs to straighten them and allow him to stand independently, though he still has his legs in a cast to keep them straight and requires braces to walk.
He outgrew the cast and leg braces and his legs have began to curve again.
After his case was published in The National in January, donations helped pay for new crutches. “The crutches help him move around without help. It was hard for me and his mother to carry him around and take him to the bathroom and other things. Now he can move on his own but his legs are still curved because we cannot afford the device,” Mr Bachache said.
Ameer also requires further surgery and equipment to help his legs grow and for him to stand. His father, who earns Dh4,000 a month working for a printer, cannot afford it.
Hisham Al Zahrani, manager of Zakat and social services at Dar Al Ber, said: “Our partnership with The National and the donations of hundreds of readers has saved and improved the lives of many who are in need of assistance. On behalf of them, Dar Al Ber would like to thank The National’s readers.”
Source: uae news