Emirati girl who fell from second floor at school faces long road to recovery

A 14-year-old Emirati girl who suffered severe injuries when she fell from the second floor at her school in Fujairah has yet to return to classes and faces a long road to recovery.

Six weeks after a fall at her Fujairah school that left her with severe injuries, 14-year-old Alaa Al Abduli is losing hope that she will ever get back to normal. Jeffrey E Biteng / The National
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FUJAIRAH // An Emirati girl who suffered severe injuries when she fell from the second floor at her school in Fujairah has yet to return to classes and faces a long road to recovery.

Alaa Al Abduli, 14, was sitting on a small wall at Lubaba bint Al Harith School, in Al Bidyah, near Fujairah City when she lost her balance and fell on October 4.

She broke her pelvis and suffered several jaw fractures. Alaa is still suffering from facial nerve palsy and back pain that prevents her from attending school.

“I left the hospital one month ago and I still can’t walk or stand for long,” said Alaa, who recently had two weeks of treatment at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi.

“I tried to attend school twice, but each time I suffered back pain and they sent me home.

“Pain in my back and left leg is preventing me from doing my daily routine and I avoid looking in the mirror so I don’t see my face and how it looks when I smile.”

The Grade 9 pupil has developed a nerve problem that affects the left side of her face. She can’t close her eye properly and her smile has changed.

“The doctors told me that they can’t do anything now and that I need to practise swimming, but I don’t know how to swim,” Alaa said. “I’m on painkillers, I feel depressed and with each day that passes I lose hope and feel like I will never be normal again.”

Her uncle Ahmad Al Abduli takes her to SKMC for weekly check-ups, which take its toll on the girl.

“We spend the whole day on the road and in the hospital, and they keep rescheduling the appointments with no progress,” Alaa said.

“They recommended to start physiotherapy for my back but I can’t go to Abu Dhabi every day for that.”

She had finished classes and was on her way to meet a friend in the hall when she had her accident.

“I sat on a half-height wall in the hallway and when I tried to adjust my scarf I lost balance and fell to the ground,” she said. “My friend tried to save me but she couldn’t.

“The school exams will start soon and I don’t want to miss a year. My friends are taking down everything they have in class for me but I don’t know if this technique will work. I miss school.”

Alaa is left exhausted after travelling to hospital, Mr Al Abduli said

“She becomes very tired each time we visit due to the long trip and waiting time at the hospital,” he said. “The doctors keep telling her that nothing can be done now and that makes her sad each time.

“She needs to see a specialist neurologist and it’s better if they transfer her to a hospital in Dubai to start the physiotherapy sessions.”

Alaa’s mother Rose Safonova said her daughter had started to isolate herself from her sister and five brothers, and becomes angry quickly.

“I’m very worried about her, she prefers to stay in her room and gets angry very fast and for no reason,” said Ms Safonova.

“I wish that I could do something for her but I’m not a doctor. We tried to move her to Germany but the doctors at Khalifa City issued a report saying that her treatment is available here in the country.”