UAE Partnership Gives New Hope to Sick Children

In an April 9 article in The National, Taimur Khan reports on the longstanding partnership of Children's National with the UAE, the impact of the Sheikh Zayed Institute for Pediatric Surgical Innovation, and the personal experience that got the Ambassador and his wife even more involved. “The relationship [with Children’s] is integral,” the Ambassador said. "Health care and education are two of our biggest priorities back home, and we like partnerships where our partners show commitment, and Children’s has definitely shown commitment to the UAE.” Khan also reports on several initiatives that have improved the health of children in the UAE. "It wasn’t so long ago that Abu Dhabi had infant mortality that they were not happy with,” according to Dr. Gerard Martin, a cardiologist and director of global services at Children's National. “But now they are beating the US in infant mortality and have made major strides.” About the Sheikh Zayed Institute, Dr. Martin said, “The institute is based upon making treatment more precise, less invasive, and pain free. The work we’re doing here is easily translatable to what is needed in the Emirates, where there is a higher complexity of care.” The Ambassador also talked about his personal experience with his own child. "You’ve built this relationship over five years, given this grant, gotten to know everyone at Children’s, under the assumption that we’ll probably never need them for our own family,” he said. "When you realise your child needs serious health care … it’s pretty scary. Fortunately there was this relationship between the Abu Dhabi government and Children’s – if you didn’t believe in karma before something like this happens, you believe in it now.” That experience led the Ambassador and his wife Abeer to volunteer to chair the 2014 Children's Ball with their friends Amy and Bret Baier, who also have a personal connection to Children's National. "You can chair 100 balls and it wouldn’t come close to paying them back for treating your child," he said, "but it was the one thing we could do, organise a ball that raises a lot of money." Read the article, "How Zayed's Legacy Gives New Hope to Sick Children."  

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