Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 30 November 2020

Indian hotel driver wakes up in Dubai after 30-day coma

Mujeeb, 41, suffered a brain aneurysm on his way to work at Atlantis, The Palm hotel

L-R: Dr Hossam Helmy, ICU consultant, Dr Mona Cheetan, neurology consultant, patient Mujeeb and Dr Mohamed Khamis. Staff at Al Zahra Hospital in Dubai cared for Mujeeb for 55 days  Courtesy: Al Zahra  
L-R: Dr Hossam Helmy, ICU consultant, Dr Mona Cheetan, neurology consultant, patient Mujeeb and Dr Mohamed Khamis. Staff at Al Zahra Hospital in Dubai cared for Mujeeb for 55 days  Courtesy: Al Zahra  

Much changed in the 55 days Mujeeb spent in the intensive care unit of a Dubai hospital, 30 of them in a medically induced coma.

After moving out of the ICU at Al Zahra Hospital, the Indian hotel driver, 41, learnt that flights had resumed around much of the world and that Russia may have found a vaccine for Covid-19.

It all began in June when he felt an intense headache on his way to work at Atlantis, The Palm.

Mujeeb collapsed and had a seizure. Colleagues called for an ambulance and he was taken to hospital for emergency treatment.

I know I was given a second chance to live my life and for that I feel very lucky

Mujeeb

“It was just a regular day at work when suddenly I felt a dreadful headache that I had never experienced before,” said Mujeeb, who has since fully recovered and is preparing to fly home to India.

“I was later told that it developed into a seizure.”

Mujeeb suffered a brain aneurysm that caused a severe haemorrhagic stroke.

Without prompt medical care, the condition can be fatal or leave the patient with life-changing injuries.

Most aneurysms are detected during routine tests for other ailments, but often go unnoticed without medical intervention.

Mujeeb was otherwise fit and healthy with no noticeable symptoms.

Doctors said his quick-thinking colleagues probably helped save his life.

“Luckily, he was promptly transferred to us where our ER doctors managed to conduct a CAT scan for his brain and brain arteries,” said Dr Mohamed Khamis, a critical care specialist at Al Zahra Hospital.

Dr Khamis said about 30 per cent of patients who suffer the same injury die, with more than half likely to suffer permanent damage to brain function.

Mujeeb was put on a ventilator and admitted to the intensive care unit. An infection made matters worse and he underwent two operations before being placed in a coma, where he would remain for 30 days.

“He was operated on for an emergency insertion of a drain in his brain to remove excess fluid and blood,” said Dr Hussein Al Rahma, head of the hospital’s emergency department.

“On the same day, he underwent another procedure to repair his brain aneurysm that caused the bleeding.

"Unfortunately, despite the two procedures, his brain pressure was still high.”

Four days after admission, Mujeeb had another operation, to fit a second drain.

Even though he was given aggressive intravenous antibiotic therapy, he needed local injections in the brain to fight an infection. He also required a tracheostomy to avoid the complications of prolonged ventilation.

Once Mujeeb began to slowly regain consciousness, the ventilator was removed.

After spending 55 days in ICU, Mujeeb was fully conscious, speaking and had regained full brain function. He continued rehabilitation at the hospital and is now ready to be repatriated to India to be with his family.

“I am very grateful to all the doctors who supervised my care during this period,” Mujeeb said. “I know I was given a second chance to live my life and for that I feel very lucky.”

Updated: August 18, 2020 09:23 PM

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