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Stronger Together

Partnership Overview:

Children’s National Hospital, based in Washington D.C., has cared for patients from the United Arab Emirates for nearly 40 years. This relationship continues to grow through high quality patient care, innovative pediatric research collaborations and medical training and education programs that improve the lives of families in the UAE.

The hospital’s partnership with GE will improve children’s health in the UAE. In February, GE supported the Children’s Ball — United Arab Emirates as a Platinum Sponsor. This Ball was held at Qasr al-Hosn. We were deeply honored by the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the attendance of His Highness Sheikh Theyab bin Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The historic event raised crucial funding for clinical, educational and research exchanges between Emirati health authorities and Children’s National. GE’s sponsorship will benefit pediatric health across the UAE through initiatives such as the Children’s National Visiting Physicians Program (VPP). It will extend the UAE’s global medical leadership. This will lead to healthier lifetimes and stronger futures for generations of children.

Children’s National physicians have cared for hundreds of patients in the UAE through the VPP. The program has brought more than 20 licensed Children’s National physicians to hospitals across the UAE. These pediatric specialists collaborate with Emirati health experts to enhance clinical care. VPP participants represent a wide range of specialties, including — but not limited to — cardiology, genetics, oncology, pulmonary medicine, neurology, orthopedics, gastroenterology, urology and surgical subspecialties.

Fakhera’s Story

Fakhera Jaber Al Mansoori, 14, of the United Arab Emirates, is the youngest of five children in her family and attends Manor Hall International School in Al Ain City. She speaks flawless English, loves to study math and watch movies.

Doctors diagnosed Fakhera with heart defects before she was born. In December 2008, she arrived with an enlarged pulmonary artery and other structural problems — a potentially deadly situation.

Her father, Jaber, flew her to London twice for surgeries that failed to correct her condition. The family searched for an alternative, which led them to Children’s National Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Fakhera was two when they arrived at Children’s National in June 2011. She was admitted immediately to intensive care and cardiac surgeon Dr. Richard Jonas operated. “He saved Fakhera’s life,” says Jaber. “He sat down with us and explained the whole plan. He assured me that he will do his best for Fakhera to have a normal life again.”

Back in the UAE after 18 months, Fakhera experienced challenges that led to hospital care. Doctors advised that she return to Children’s National. Their second visit lasted three years, during which time doctors succeeded in correcting Fakhera’s structural heart defect.

The family’s long stay in the United States included a year in an American school, which Fakhera loved. They also became close with Dr. Gerard Martin, a world-renowned cardiologist at Children’s National. “Fakhera’s family fought for her throughout a long recovery,” says Dr. Martin. “She was an incredible patient, never losing her beautiful smile.”

When Fakhera returned to the UAE, she was able to meet with Dr. Martin again through the Visiting Physicians Program (VPP), which brings specialist physicians to the UAE. GE’s sponsorship of the Children’s Ball — United Arab Emirates provides crucial support for this program.

Follow-up visits in Abu Dhabi and Sharjah “made our lives much easier for us, not having to fly all the way back to the U.S., while our daughter’s case is closely monitored with the highest standards of care,” says Jaber. Dr. Martin monitored Fakhera, whose earliest memories include running to hug Dr. Martin whenever she saw him.

On a recent visit to Children’s National, Jaber and Fakhera say they felt like they were returning home. “I was happy to see familiar faces. Children’s National is part of Fakhera and my identity and a second home for us,” Jaber says. Fakhera is doing well now and back in the UAE.


Country: UAE


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