The National has resumed its weekly Helping Hands series whereby every Sunday, in co-operation with local charity Dar Al Ber, we publish the case of a resident who is in dire need of help.
This week it is 36-year-old Edito Jr from the Philippines. Last year, the father of two discovered he had kidney failure.
“I had severe headaches and dizziness for a week,” he said.
Doctors told him he had to immediately begin expensive dialysis treatment but he was forced to postpone for a year due to financial constraints.
“Because of my financial situation, I know I couldn’t pay for dialysis so I just didn’t go.” His situation deteriorated drastically as a result.
Only after he was rushed to the emergency room last week did he begin dialysis – a process whereby a machine performs the functions of the kidneys by cleaning a patient’s blood of waste, salt and excess water then returning it to the body.
“Doctors said that my condition couldn’t take it anymore and that I would die if I didn’t start dialysis.”
One session costs Edito Dh600. “It was the cheapest I could find,” he said.
Edito was prescribed dialysis three times a week but can only afford to go for two sessions. “My insurance doesn’t pay for anything and I support a family,” he said.
He has two boys aged 9 and 12, who attend the Filipino School in Dubai. He and his family have lived in Dubai for 10 years and his wife earns little working for a trading company.
"I know this is bad for me but there is nothing I can do. I really don't know what to do and reaching out to Dar Al Ber and The National is my only hope," he said.
Edito works for a contracting company that does not offer him health insurance. He earns a monthly salary of around Dh5000 and has had to reach out to family members for financial support.
“I’ve already asked my younger brother if he could come from the Philippines to help me,” he said.
His brother, 29, is eligible to donate a kidney to Edito and has agreed to the surgery but, until it can be organised, Edito must remain on dialysis.
Hisham Al Zahrani, manager of Zakat and Social Services at Dar Al Ber said, “Donations for readers has helped dozens of expatriate residents in the UAE and we look forward to restarting the series after a short break during Ramadan. Edito sadly is one of many residents who are suffering because of a lack of health insurance to the extent that he is unable to get treatment because it is too expensive for him. Missing dialysis sessions means that the person is in excruciating pain and putting their life at risk. Edito needs donations to keep him alive till he undergoes a transplant.”