Fundraising campaign has started to help secure legal assistance for 44-year-old consultant cardiologist Dr Basem Enany, who is in intensive care at Leeds General Hospital after developing a rare complication from Covid-19 .
Dr Enany’s wife and four daughters were unable to visit him in hospital due to the virus and now risk having to leave the UK when the Egyptian deputy’s contract expires at the end of November .
Enany’s wife, who declined to give her full name, told the Guardian: “I can’t believe this is happening. The whole thing is like a bad dream. My husband is young and very talented. We never thought we would face something like this.
“He loves his job so much. Even when he first got Covid, he was working online from home on his emails and checking his references.
She added: “Our four daughters are very comfortable here. They all love school and are happy here. ”
His friend and colleague at York Hospital, Dr Sanjay Gupta, said Dr Enany regularly spent long shifts in Covid wards treating very sick patients during the height of the pandemic.
But in mid-September, the fit and healthy consultant himself developed the symptoms, although he did not catch the virus at York Hospital because he was on leave.
Dr Gupta, who is also a consultant heart specialist, said his friend developed weakness in both legs and it quickly turned into progressive paralysis that spread to his arms and then to his respiratory muscles.
He said Dr Enany had been diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a rare complication of certain viruses, including Covid-19, seen only in 31 other cases across the world.
Dr Enany was put on a ventilator a fortnight ago and remains unable to move his arms and legs or breathe unaided, although his brain is still functioning and able to communicate.
Dr Gupta said: “He came to this country to help and now he is in a terrible situation.
“It’s horrible what happened to him and we all want to do whatever we can to help him. ”
Dr Gupta said on his GoFundMe page: “Basem’s current status is that he is stable but still critically ill.
“There’s a chance he can regain the ability to breathe without support and gain limb function, but there’s also a good chance he won’t be able to or he’ll end up with a disability. permed.
“What is certain is that he will spend several months in intensive care and will not be able to resume the job he loved so much for several months, even years. ”
Dr Gupta said Dr Enany was working as a locum at York Hospital before he fell ill, but his contract is due to end at the end of November.
He said his friend’s work visa will not be renewed and as a result his wife and four daughters, the youngest of whom is four, will likely be asked to leave the UK.
Dr Gupta said Dr Enany, who lives in Dewsbury, West Yorks, is a ‘devoted husband and loving father’.
He launched a fundraising campaign to help get expert legal advice for the family’s immigration situation and also to support them in the face of Dr Enany’s loss of earnings.
Dr Gupta said: “He is the sole breadwinner in his family. Before this sudden illness, Basem was a perfectly fit and healthy man.
“As part of his work, Basem has cared for and saved the lives of several critically ill heart patients and is loved and respected by his colleagues and patients. ”
He said: “As a friend and colleague, I feel both heartbroken and helpless. While I am worried about Basem, I am also worried about the future of his wife and daughters. ”
As of Thursday evening, the campaign raised just under £ 30,000 from more than 650 donors.
A Home Office spokesperson said: ‘Dr Enany is here legally and has every right to stay in the UK.
“Our hearts are with his family, and we will urgently contact them, as well as his employer, so that we can help during this difficult time.
“Health and social service professionals around the world play a vital role in UK hospitals and nursing homes and we are extremely grateful to them. ”
But his wife said the visa situation was unclear.
She added, “I will be anxious until I have a new visa in hand.
“When my husband is awake I can communicate with him on Zoom. The first thing he always asks me is: “What’s going on with the visa”.