ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates—The family of a once-comatose bodybuilder is facing eviction in the face of a growing mound of hospital bills.
Tristan Alberts suffered a traumatic brain injury and respiratory failure when he was 20 years old in 2017. Prior to his hospitalization, he had started taking supplements to build muscle faster, including insulin, a hormone that regulates blood sugar.
He ended up in a hypoglycemic coma and had to undergo emergency surgery to save his life before being transferred to NMC ProVita International Medical Center, a long-term care facility in the United Arab Emirates. Since then, he has been unable to see, talk or walk.
His father, Neville Alberts, 55, originally from South Africa, was paying the medical bills through his work as at a car dealer in Abu Dhabi before he lost his job in January. He has since been unable to find new employment and is unable to keep up with the bills.
His son was told to leave NMC ProVita International Medical Center due to missed payments this week. The former bodybuilder is now being cared for at Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City, where he has shown some signs of improvement, but the bills are still piling up.
Struggling with their financial burden, the Alberts family is being evicted from their home. Thanks to travel restrictions amid the coronavirus pandemic, the family is unable to leave the country and fears they will be left penniless and homeless.
“It has been the most difficult time of my life,” Neville told Zenger News. “Sometimes I ask myself: What more can go wrong?”
When they allowed to travel, the family hopes to relocate to the United Kingdom, where Tristan, his mother and sister have citizenship. Once there, they want to pursue getting
Tristan care through the country’s National Health Service. In the meantime, the Alberts have set up a crowdfunding page with the goal of raising $130,000 to help pay the medical bills. So far, they have raised nearly $29,000.
“The love Tristan has to give is heart-warming, and the potential he has for improvement is beyond belief, though it will take time!” Neville said. “I need to do my bit to ensure that Tristan’s rehabilitation can continue, and he has the best possible chance of returning to an independent life. I cannot do this alone.”
(Edited by Carlin Becker and Matthew Hall)
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