Middle East Cruise News

Dubai cruise tourist suffers medical emergency, is saved despite DNR

A German tourist that flew to Dubai for an MSC Cruise suffered a medical emergency during her hotel stay and slipped into a coma.

Sabine Kotter, from Osnabruck near Hamburg, was carrying a DNR form at the time, but her husband Roland Kotter called emergency services and she was taken to Medeor Hospital.

Sabine Kotter with her husband Roland following surgery

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“Since Sabine’s pancreatic cancer metastasised and she got terminally ill, our family doctor told her to see the world, go on cruises and live her life happily,” Roland Kotter told Gulf News.

The couple had been on two cruises already in the Caribbean and the Canary Island, and were due to board MSC Lirica in Dubai for an Indian Ocean cruise.

“We arrived here on February 15 and after a four-day stay, were scheduled to embark upon the cruise on February 19. But Sabine fell ill the previous night. She lost consciousness and was rushed to the emergency of Medeor Hospital in an ambulance,” said Kotter.

When Sabine arrived at the hospital, she was on the verge of cardiac arrest, according to Dr Rohit Kumar, medical director and head of surgery at Medeor.

The couple had been due to board MSC Lirica for a roundtrip cruise to India from Dubai via Abu Dhabi and Muscat

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“Chances of her survival were very slim and her husband told us she had terminal cancer and that he was carrying a DNR form,” said Dr Rohit. “As the patient came to us in an emergency in a critical state, we resuscitated her.”

The hospital also performed several blood transfusions and provided additional care in the ICU ward after her left hand had to be amputated due to severe gangrene.

The United Arab Emirates recently revised its laws to allow for a DNR, but the ‘right to die’ is still only allowed under exceptional circumstances in the country.

“The spread of gangrene was arrested and she is in a reasonably good condition,” added Dr Rohit.

Sabine was flown home to Germany with a doctor and nurse provided by her insurance company.

From her home in Germany she said that she was grateful to the hospital staff for ignoring the DNR.

“I love the UAE, especially Dubai, and am happy we came here for the cruise,” she said. “The quick thinking team of surgeons, doctors and ICU staff helped restore me to a reasonably good condition. It’s a miracle I will be able to meet my sons again.”

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