A Dubai tailor has been helplessly watching his stomach getting bigger and bigger, preventing him from doing any work and plunging his family into poverty.
Rayees Agha, from Agra in north India, was leading a normal life until May 2011 when he had to undergo open heart surgery after being diagnosed with a severe heart ailment.
After 20 days in the intensive care unit of Dubai Hospital, Rayees was discharged with medical advice to undergo regular check-ups.
The hospital’s surgery bill of nearly Dh100,000 was paid by various charities including Beit Al Kheir Society.
But then his belly started bloating with fluids.
The only breadwinner of his family, Rayees is now idle as he cannot do any work because of his bulging stomach, which also makes breathing difficult.
Asthma has made life more miserable for the man in his sixties and his family which include his wife, a daughter and a son, both students of an Indian school in Dubai. Rayees is unable to bear the cost of checkups and follow-up treatment.
A bloated stomach can be caused by fluid build-up, excessive gas, constipation, according to doctors.
Rayees cannot sit, lie down or walk properly. At night he cannot sleep well and wakes up often due to breathing problems.
“His abdomen is getting bigger and bigger because of accumulated water.
“Doctors have advised us to visit the hospital regularly for check-up and follow-up treatment. He did go once to the hospital but did not go again because we could not afford to pay Dh7,000 in hospital fees for two weeks’ treatment.
“We don’t have Dh7,000 to even clear the first bill and now his condition is getting worse,” his wife said.
After losses forced Rayees to close his tailoring shop, he used to survive on small tailoring jobs. But now his condition is so bad that, though he can walk, he cannot do any work.
“Our school fees are also unpaid for the last term and the school management is pressing us for payment,” says Amreen Fathima, his daughter, an eighth standard student.
The family is surviving with the help of charities which provide food and other essential goods.