Portuguese expat in UAE desperate for a job; help for daughter’s kidney transplant

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Luis Santos, long-time Portuguese expatriate, with his wife and his twin daughters
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A desperate father in the UAE is looking for employment for himself and help for his three-and-a-half year old daughter, who needs an urgent kidney transplant.

Luis Santos, 43, a long-time Portuguese expatriate living in Al Ain, claimed he has been jobless for the last 11 months and his situation became worse because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“I have been desperately looking for a job — any kind of work. I’ve submitted my CV to hundreds of companies but, maybe because of the situation brought about due to the pandemic, I did not receive a single return call,” Santos, who has been working in the transport and logistics sector, said.

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Luis Santos says he has sold everything of value to provide for his family
Image Credit: Supplied

He added: “I have also not seen my family for a long time. My wife (Rita Dolatian, a Syrian national) and three-and-a-half year old twins (Daniel and Riyanna) are stuck in the US. They are with my sister-in-law in Ohio.”

He said the US visa of his wife and kids will expire next month and they have to return to the UAE.

With no source of income, the debt-ridden Santos said he also has to find a way to raise money for the urgent kidney transplant of his daughter, Riyanna, who has to undergo weekly dialysis. He said he has sold everything of value, including his wedding ring.

“Thankfully, I have friends who have been providing me with some food and groceries. That’s how I have been able to eat over the past months,” Santos said.

“But there were times I had only one meal a day and many sleepless nights,” he added.

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Riyanna has to undergo weekly dialysis
Image Credit: Supplied

Santos said he is willing to take any kind of job so he can restart his life and be able to provide for his family.

He said he first came to the UAE in August 2008 after he was sent by a Portuguese company to work for four months. But he fell in love with the country and chose to stay.

He also met his wife and they eventually started a family. He worked in the logistics department of an oil and gas company before moving on as operations manager for a heavy transport company. In August 2019, he became unemployed again. “My life has been a steep downhill from then on,” Santos said.

“I have nothing left — no savings and only debts. I’m afraid I will be living on the street, that’s why I urgently need a job,” he pleaded.

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