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Khaleejtimes

Dubai resident refuses to give up on wife in coma

She slipped into a coma on June 29 following an asthma attack.

Even though doctors have declared Dubai resident Jody Ann Rodriguez to be in a state of “deep coma”, her husband refuses to give up hope of her survival.

“Even if she has a one or two per cent chance of recovery, I want to give it a shot,” said Jody’s husband Jonathan Ali Khan, an acclaimed UAE-based underwater film maker who is also the managing director and founder of Wild Planet Productions.

Jody (56), slipped into coma on June 29, following an asthma attack.

Totally dependent on life support at a hospital in Dubai Investment Park, Jody – a mother of four – is currently in a grade three coma state as per the Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS).

The future course of her treatment is adding to the anxiety of the family as a federal law introduced in March this year requires the primary doctors to determine whether the patient’s brain damage is reversible or irreversible.

A committee of three doctors, including those from neurosciences department and an anaesthesiologist, will be formed to assess the level of responsiveness and investigate Jody’s case. The committee will then apprise the health authorities, and the patient’s family about the result. Jody’s doctor said: “The committee investigates the matter and then collectively takes a call whether the patient is brain dead or not.”

However, Khan would like to take his wife to a special neurological hospital in Italy, where he believes Jody has a better shot at surviving. “Every day we hear stories about people waking up from a coma,” said Khan. The film maker fears the new legislation would take away the family’s right to fight for Jody’s life.

‘We are following protocol’, says hospital

Her doctor pointed out: “Since this is the first ever case of brain death, the hospital will follow a very ‘specific criteria’ as per the new guidelines by the federal law.” The doctor said: “As per the new law, a committee of three consulting doctors of the hospital will be set up to probe Jody’s condition.” He added: “We will see if her brain function is reversible or irreversible and then conclude if it is brain death or not.” “We include the family of the patient in such difficult and emotionally challenging processes and always keep the regulatory guidance in our perspective. Our primary job is to protect, nurture and nourish life and we would continue doing the same,” the spokesperson of the hospital told Khaleej Times.

What happened to Jody?

According to doctors handling her case, Jody’s heart was not beating when she was brought to the emergency room of the hospital. “Which is why we initiated a CPR on her, and revived her heart. She was then incubated and shifted to the ICU.” Khan told Khaleej Times that his wife has been an asthma patient since her childhood and the attack took place while he was at home.

The family’s woes have mounted since Khan is in the midst of a visa change and Jody didn’t have an insurance. The hospital bills have shot up to over Dh100,000, and Khan’s sister has launched a fund-raiser in the UK. “It’s barely enough to cover the hospital bills. Even if I want to fly to Europe, it would require an air ambulance,” said Khan.

dhanusha@khaleejtimes.com

saman@khaleejtimes.com

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