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UAE: Indonesian sailor battling terminal cancer hopes for final Eid reunion with family – News


Harjano Sawarno on life support at Burjeel Specialty Hospital in Sharjah. Photo: Exterior

Published: Wednesday April 3, 2024, 17:02

An Indonesian sailor, battling terminal cancer in a Sharjah hospital, longs for one last Eid celebration with his family. Harjano Sawarno, 45, a father of four, works as a ship’s cook and earns a salary of $600. Last week, while his boat was docked in UAE waters, Sawarno suddenly fell ill.

“He complained of acute stomach pain and went to a hospital in Ajman for a routine check-up,” said a fellow seafarer. Tests revealed advanced pancreatic cancer with four brain tumors.

“We arranged a video call with his family from his hospital bed and during it he seemed to be in good spirits. However, soon after his condition worsened. Before being put on a ventilator, he simply wanted to reunite with his family,” said the shipmate who preferred to remain anonymous.

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The ship’s captain described Harjano as a kind family man who frequently spoke fondly of his wife and children. “He hadn’t seen them in months and was eager to get home,” he said.

Harjano’s eldest child, a son, is 21 years old, while his youngest, a daughter, is 14.

An Emirati good Samaritan, who facilitated the man’s transfer to Burjeel Specialty Hospital in Sharjah on Tuesday night after the Ajman hospital refused further treatment, said she is working to arrange an air ambulance. “My priority is to ensure that the man can peacefully spend his final moments surrounded by his loved ones,” she said. “The last 10 days of Ramadan have a particular meaning, offering additional blessings for acts of kindness. However, beyond religious observance, it is our community duty to intervene and help in such cases. We cannot allow this man to die alone” .


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