New hope for St Vincent’s “loneliest man”

When Khaidir Abu Jalil, a foreign temporary worker from a village in Malaysia spent 6 lonely months in ICU at St Vincent’s after being hospitalised for a rare autoimmune disease with only a 50 per cent survival rate. Known as the “loneliest man” in St Vincent’s Hospital he did not have a single visitor during his hospital stay.

His illness resulted in a loss of employment, his working visa, and the medical insurance associated with his placement, meaning Mr Abu Jalil had no source of income and could not return home for treatment due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Khaidir Abu Jalil did not have a single visitor in his six month hospital stay (Image credit: Janie Barrett, The Sydney Morning Herald)

Unfortunately his situation is not unique, because of COVID-19, St Vincent’s has had to support increased numbers of people stranded in Sydney, sick and in need of help – many without access to Medicare. St Vincent’s is able to support patients like this thanks to the existence of the Healing, Hope and Humanity Fund. This mission based fund was established to provide care for people like Mr Abu Jalil, who have nowhere else to go. It enables our Hospitals to care for patients who cannot afford vital medical treatment particularly those from developing countries who cannot access first-class care in their own country.

Mr Abu Jalil’s case received nationwide attention over Christmas when the media highlighted his plight and asked the public for help. The positive response to the article was extraordinary, Hundreds of people from all across Sydney and around the world offering support, with donations to the Healing Hope and Humanity Fund to help with medical costs, offers of accommodation, presents, and other support. His story touched so many people and continues to do so.

Since that article, his situation has improved. He’s been provided with accommodation appropriate to his immune-compromised condition, and is now receiving treatment as an outpatient. He may need to return to hospital in the future, but for now, he is able to relax in a restful, safe environment close to the doctors and nurses who continue to treat him.

Khaidir Abu Jalil is finally able to relax in a safe environment close to the doctors and nurses who continue to treat him (Image credit: Janie Barrett, The Sydney Morning Herald)

Mr Abu Jalil is just one of many for whom St Vincent’s is the only option. Earlier this year the Healing Hope and Humanity Fund paid for the urgent treatment and rehabilitation for a religious Sister from the Pacific Islands who needed critical brain surgery. It also ensures continuation of the Hospital’s dental services for marginalised patients, many of whom are experiencing homelessness or have mental health issues.

The Healing, Hope and Humanity Fund is made possible thanks to donations and bequests from wonderful supporters who embrace the commitment made by our founding Sisters, that everyone who walks through the doors of St Vincent’s Hospital will be treated with the same care and compassion, regardless of wealth, nationality or religion.

If you’d like to find out more or become a supporter, please contact the Foundation office on 8382 1680 and ask for Loretta or Linda, or donate online now.