My name is Sanjay Gupta and I work as a consultant heart specialist in York. I have started this Gofundme page for my friend and colleague Dr Basem Enany who is currently in intensive care unit on a ventilator fighting the toughest battle of his life as a consequence of COVID-19.
Basem was working as a consultant cardiologist at York Hospital. He is 44 years old and a devoted husband and a loving father of 4 beautiful girls - the youngest, only 4 years old. He is the sole breadwinner for his family. Before this sudden illness, Basem was a completely fit and healthy man. As part of his job, Basem has looked after and saved the lives of several critically ill cardiac patients and is loved and respected by his colleagues and his patients. He was also a frontline fighter against the COVID-19 pandemic and regularly spent full day and night shifts on the COVID wards looking after very sick patients.
In mid-september, Basem developed symptoms of COVID-19 whilst on leave. A COVID test confirmed that he had been infected by the virus.
After a few days, Basem noticed marked weakness in both legs and very rapidly, this weakness developed into a progressive paralysis that spread to his arms and then his respiratory muscles. The doctors diagnosed his condition as Guillan-Barre syndrome which is a rare complication of some viruses including COVID-19. There have been 31 other cases of Guillan-Barre Syndrome from COVID-19 mainly in Europe. Basem is the 32nd patient to have suffered this complication.
As Basem was unable to breathe because of this progressive paralysis, the doctors had little option but to ventilate him. 14 days later, he is still on the ventilator and remains unable to move his arms and legs. His brain is still functional and he is able to communicate but unable to move his limbs or breathe unassisted. Given the nature of the pandemic, Basem's wife and daughters have been unable to visit him which has made this terrible situation even more heartbreaking.
Basem's current status is that he is stable but still critically unwell. There is a chance that he may be able to regain the ability to breathe without support and gain function of his limbs but there is also a high chance that he may not make it or be left with permanent disability. What is certain is that he will spend several months in intensive care and will not be able to go back to the profession that he loved so dearly for several months or even years.
As Basem was a locum doctor with a contract due to finish at the end of November 2020, he will not be in employment after the end of November 2020 and his work visa will not be renewed in which case his wife and daughters will be asked to leave the country. In addition he will not receive any income and as he is the sole bread-winner for his family, it means that there will be no financial support for his wife and four daughters.
In order to be able to stay in this country, Basem's family will need experienced legal aid to help them stay in this country on compassionate grounds. If the visa is extended then it may also help Basem access medical care that may not otherwise be affordable. This process, though is likely to be hugely expensive and possibly even unaffordable.
As a friend and colleague, I feel both heartbroken and helpless. Whilst I am worried about Basem, I am equally worried about the future for his wife and daughters.
I have therefore set this page up in the hope that we may be able to collect some funds to help support Basem's family as they try and cope with this exceedingly traumatic and life-changing time of all their lives. With the money that is raised, Basem's wife and children will be able to engage the services of appropriate legal aid to help them to continue to stay in the country and the visa will ensure continuity of Basem's health insurance so that he is able to continue all treatment without disruption or financial burden. Furthermore it will provide a huge amount of security to his wife and allow his daughters to continue their schooling.
I am grateful to anyone who has taken the time to read this.
- Akram Zakria
- Hussam Hassouna
- Nasser El-Sabbagh
- Ann Dorey
Organizer and beneficiary
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