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A Day in the Life of a Patient - Butti Farhan Al Shamsi


It was late at night in January. Butti Farhan Juma Alshamsi was driving home alone on the fast lane from Ajman to Sharjah, when a car sped behind him and flashed him to change lanes. Flustered, the 21 year old Emirati tried to maneuver to the right, when instead the car overtook him from the right side, sped to the front of Butti’s car, and slammed on the brakes. 

To avoid rear-ending the car or moving on another vehicle on his right, Butti swerved left towards the sidewalk. The car rolled and he lost consciousness in a near-fatal accident. His mother was on speakerphone the entire time. 

“God must love me for giving me the strength to pass that traumatic time,” Butti’s mother, Mrs Aida Khalifa, recalls. 

Butti, who was born in Dubai and raised in Sharjah, was taken by ambulance to Sheikh Khalifa Hospital for emergency care and then to Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, where he spent the next month. His tests showed he had fractured his ribs and spine and was suffering a brain haemorrhage. His prognosis was poor. After a month of stabilisation at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Butti needed a period of specialised rehabilitation to make a full recovery. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provided Butti and his family several options within the UAE and overseas. 

“I walked into Amana Healthcare’s rehabilitation hospital, and my heart immediately relaxed. Although it was a hospital, it offered the comfort of a home away from home, and after seeing the attentive care of the rehabilitation physicians, nurses, and therapists, my gut feeling told me this was it,” Mrs Aida states with a smile. As a first step, the team from Amana Healthcare—a specialised provider of inpatient rehabilitation, transitional care and home care services in the United Arab Emirates—carried out a detailed assessment of Butti’s rehabilitation needs and potential. The objective was to see what combination of therapies would give Butti the best chance at making a full functional recovery. Butti was then admitted to Amana’s inpatient rehabilitation hospital in Abu Dhabi. Here, Amana’s Post-Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation team—a multi-disciplinary team of expert physicians, nurses, speech and language therapists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and dietitians—worked together to develop and execute a customised rehabilitation plan designed specifically around Butti’s condition and needs. 

“The care I received was just as excellent, if not better, than what I have experienced abroad earlier in places like Germany,” Butti stated. “And it was hard work – but very effective in the end!” As the only specialised inpatient rehabilitation hospital in the UAE accredited by CARF – the U.S. Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities – Amana Healthcare serves as a regional center of excellence for patients like Butti who need specialized rehabilitation after a major accident, illness or surgery. 

At Amana, a typical day for Butti consisted of a morning meeting with his rehabilitation physician, followed by five hours of three types of therapies: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and speech and language therapy. With the team’s encouragement and support, Butti had to re-learn how to walk, for which he spent time in Amana’s hydrotherapy pool, gym and outdoor therapy gardens. Specialised technologies were also used to help facilitate or stimulate walking methods to assist Butti. 

After his therapy and medical care was attended to, Butti would go for outings with the hospital staff and other patients to cinemas, malls, and parks—activities designed not only for recreation but also to support his rehabilitation program and re-build basic skills. He built a close friendship with Sultan, a post-acute rehabilitation patient, who after days spent laughing together – and even meeting celebrities like Tyrese Gibson at the Abu Dhabi premier of Fast & Furious 8 – and nights competing in PlayStation games, he refers to now as his brother. In the meantime, Butti’s mother stayed with him every day at the hospital, was fully informed on his improvements and completely involved in decisions about his care. She enjoyed using the patient kitchen to cook for her son and his new friends, as well as the mothers who looked after them. She also took time every day to enjoy tea and Arabic coffee in one of Amana’s four majlis areas, where she built close and supportive relationships with the mothers of other patients like Butti. 

Regular internal events hosted at the Amana Healthcare also kept spirits high, and Butti and his mother had the chance to celebrate Mother’s Day while he was undergoing care. “It seems like the healthy, happy, and positive environment at Amana Healthcare clearly helps patients heal. I believe it did with my son,” Mrs.Aida said. When he arrived at Amana to start his rehabilitation, Butti was in a wheelchair and had difficulties with concentration, memory and speech. After 45 days of intensive therapy, he walked out the door as an energetic, independent young man—just as he was before the accident. 


26 January 2017 – Suffers a road traffic accident in Ajman. Is taken to SKMC and then CCAD via ambulance 

30 January 2017 – Surgery at CCAD on T6/T7 for posterior spinal fusion 

27 February 2017 – Is admitted to Amana Healthcare: Status: 

  • Unable to speak 
  • Significant cognitive difficulties in attention, concentration, memory, judgement, abstract thinking. 
  • Disoriented, unable to find his way around due to severe short-term memory loss and unable to understand that he was in a hospital or recognise people 
  • Had episodes of severe agitation (due to head injury) requiring 1:1 nursing supervision 24 hours a day to prevent harm 
  • Impaired range of motion and strength in lower limbs: unstable and unsafe in walking independently 
  • Cognitive Assessment score 10/30 

March-April 2017 – Receives 5+ hours a day of therapy at Amana Healthcare including occupational therapy, physiotherapy, and speech and language therapy, all under supervision of Western-trained Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Doctors 

8 March 2017- Started to follow daily schedule 

  • Wandered and was restless but was able to navigate around the hospital 
  • Required a very structured environment 

15 March 2017 – Progressed to money management tasks 

  • Had increased safety awareness and during first outing began check for road safety 
  • 1:1 nursing stopped 

22 March 2017 – Started to work on problem solving tasks and began to plan own outings 

29 March 2017 – Fully orientated 

  • Cognitive assessment score 17/30 

5 April 2017 – Able to plan and implement complex outing and aid other patients 

  • Cognitive assessment score 25/30 

11 April 2017 – Meets Tyrese Gibson at Abu Dhabi Premier of Fast & Furious 8 

12 April 2017 – Able to complete abstract problem solving tasks working on daily life activities. 

20 April 2017 – Is discharged home with comprehensive recovery 


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