Selected Patient Quality-of-Life Stories
Munira Abdullah a patient at NMC ProVita conscious mental state has improved
Munira is a 60-year-old female who was involved in a motor vehicle accident 27 years ago. She sustained a severe traumatic brain injury. At the time of her first admission to NMC ProVita International Medical Centre in 2011, she was found to have severely impaired conscious mental state. At the beginning of her admission and in the first couple of years, she was only responding to painful stimulation. In 2013, she became responsive to voices and was able to swallow thickened fluids. She was on pleasure feeding after that to enhance her quality of life.During her first stay, she received daily maintenance rehabilitation that focused on supporting her posture and preventing muscle spasms. She was also put in a chair regularly to encourage social interactions as able.
In 2015 she was discharged from NMC ProVita to another rehabilitation facility but we were still offering supportive rehabilitation services that included the monitoring of her oral feeding for a period of another year. In 2017, she was transferred Germany to another rehabilitation centre. There she underwent several surgical procedures there to reduce contractures and a special pump was inserted for spasticity management. The family reported that during the latter stages of her stay in Germany, she started to call out her son’s name. That was the fist time her son realized that she is able to speak since the accident. Following that first word she would occasionally respond when spoken to and complete certain verses of the Holy Quran upon prompting. She came back to a tertiary care hospital within the UAE.
After four months, she was admitted to NMC ProVita team. She was accepted for a period of inpatient team-based neurological rehabilitation in October 2018. Her conscious mental state was assessed regularly during her admission. She has actually showed signs of increase abilities in comparison to her first admission. She has engaged on sporadic occasions in short meaningful conversations with her son and certain staff or family members. She has continued to recite versus from the Holy Quran on prompting and she has been able to identify her son. The changes observed in the last few months were minimal. Her conscious mental state has improved but she continuous to be in the minimally conscious state level.
Effectively, she has become more alert and aware in comparison to the first admission to NMC ProVita, butnot yet regained full consciousness. Having written the above, it is important to mention that Munira continued to receive full medical, nursing, and rehabilitation care throughout her stay at NMC ProVita. The aim has always been to support any potential recovery, maintain her range of joint movements, prevent the worsening of her muscles contractures, provide a suitable wheelchair so that she can sit up for longer periods and better interact with the environment, and implement proper positioning on her bed and wheel chair. The journey through the minimally conscious state could be very long and could halt at any phase. The prognosis is not clear because of the scarcity of reported cases in the medical literature and the variety of the population reported.
The conscious mental state of Munira has definitely improved in the last few years but the rate is very slow and the pattern is not consistent. Her condition presents a rare case that is worthy of being followed and continually supported. For this reason, NMC ProVita has always maintained high level of care and full rehabilitation team involvement.
NMC ProVita patients have very serious health conditions, requiring complex and high level medical and rehabilitative support. Some of them have never left an ICU unit before being transferred to NMC ProVita. Some of the patients have shown tremendous improvement of their condition and are taking part in daily life activities on a level they or their families had never hoped to achieve.
Tamer, a 45-year-old was admitted to NMC ProVita International Medical Center, Abu Dhabi inpatient Multi-Disciplinary Medical Rehabilitation Program in March 2018, diagnosed with brain stroke which resulted in severe weakness in his right upper and lower limbs, swallowing difficulties, pain in his right hip and low spirits. He had become dependent with all activities of daily living and required rigorous physiotherapy amongst other treatments to reverse the negative impact of the stroke.
Having improved drastically in the last two months and with only a short way to go in his journey of recovery, Tamer has been discharged from NMC ProVita with the appropriate knowledge and treatment methods to continue recovering from home. Tamer and his wife , are grateful for the kindness, attention and devotion they received from NMC ProVita’s full staff and consider them to be their home away from home
When Ghadeer first came to us in 2016, she was unable to turn her head, roll or interact with anyone, therapy sessions used to be very short as she would just not participate and would cry a lot. Right now she is able to independently turn her head to either side, roll independently in bed. She enjoys her therapy sessions now and participates well. She is able to sit with no support (wide base of support) with good head control for 40minutes-sometimes more. She is able to manipulate objects and reach for toys while sitting or standing in the tilt table. She has shown even more progress following the routine the Physiotherapist and the SLP have put in place just over 2months ago. whereby she is now interacting well with people as well as during therapy sessions. She is smiling now and making sounds and has become inquisitive to explore different things and just play. We are very proud of her success and we know she will continue to improve day by day
Yusra Yasser Ali Yasser Mayouf Alhattali
Yusra was born with a motor neurone disease, which led to chronic respiratory failure requiring permanent ventilation support. She came to NMC ProVita at the age of 22 years, after being in ICU/bound to bed for 13 years. Yusra has a passion for arts and NMC ProVita committed to make her dream come true. She has contributed to two national art fairs since admission. She is considered NMC ProVita’s artist in residence and is now attending school five times a week in order to complete a Bachelors degree in Art.
Shaikha Hazza Echtibi
6-year-old Shaikha was first admitted to NMC ProVita Abu Dhabi and is now cared for in Al Ain. She faced severe physical and social problems, meaning daily life was an incredible challenge for the little girl and her family. Having spent much of her early life in the US undergoing various treatments, Sheikha came to NMC ProVita requiring ventilation on a nightly basis and experienced a range of issues interacting with people, such as an inability to make eye contact and frequent rocking behavior. Proprioceptive difficulties meant Sheikha was unable to walk and was afraid of making basic movements. Thanks to physical, occupational and speech therapy Sheikha has made significant progress. She is now attending a local mainstream school twice a week and plans are underway to for Shaikha to start at a school for children with special needs on a full-time basis. Shaika can walk independently, put on her shoes and engages in grooming and dressing activities with assistance.
Abdullah Ali Al-Dhaheri
Abdullah was born severely premature and suffered from chronic lung disease, leading to oxygen dependency and significant mobility and motor function problems. Since being admitted to NMC ProVita, Abdullah has achieved remarkable milestones in his development and his family are delighted that he has recently been discharged home. Abdullah’s physical therapy focused on trunk control and balance through prone and sitting work, followed by supported standing and weight-bearing by kneeling. Through occupational therapy he has developed the use of his arms and hands to support, reach, grasp, and hold.He also engaged in play therapy to encourage exploration and free play on the floor. Abdullah is now able to roll, sit without support, wave and clap bringing great pleasure to his family. The NMC ProVita team has conducted home visits to ensure a smooth transition.
Baba is a 72 year old Emirati gentleman, suffering from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Baba had been a patient in NMC ProVita for three years when his two sons approached the CEO about assisting them on taking their father on his Umrah, the pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. According to the family, Baba had made Umrah every year until 2007, when he was stricken with ALS. The clinical and administrative team set about the task of operationalizing a trip to Mecca for a patient who was bedbound and required a ventilator to breath. After coordination with Saudi Airlines, a local ambulance in Jeddah, and the hotel in Mecca, NMC ProVita was able to coordinate the trip and sent two nurses and a critical care doctor with Baba and his family. In the early hours of the morning, with his two nurses, a doctor and surrounded by his family, Baba performed Tawaf around the Kaaba and fulfilled his dream.