Supported By Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s Cardiometabolic Clinic, Ali Shows ‘Anything is Possible’

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates: A ‘warning’ heart attack and open-heart surgery at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, an integral part of Mubadala Health, served as the kick that Ali Mohamed needed to finally take charge of his health.

Ali, a 41-year-old Emirati engineer working in the oil and gas industry, had struggled with his weight for decades. Peaking at 180kg, he had been slowly losing weight since 2011 before beginning an exercise routine during the summer of 2020 to accelerate his weight loss. During his workouts, he felt a burning sensation in his chest and would sweat profusely. Putting these symptoms down to indigestion, he waited six weeks to see a doctor before visiting Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.  

“Ali had all the traditional risk factors for severe heart disease as he was obese, diabetic and a smoker. On top of that, he had a strong family history of heart disease and extremely high cholesterol that runs in his family. When we ran our tests on Ali, the results were shocking. He was in urgent need of a bypass. The only good news for him was that he had been experiencing ‘warning’ heart attacks that had not damaged his heart muscle,” says Dr. Hani Sabbour, a cardiologist at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.    

Ali’s care team at Cleveland clinic Abu Dhabi explained his test results and advised him to have the surgery as soon as possible. Due to his extremely high cholesterol, less invasive solutions such as stents would not work as they would become blocked extremely quickly — Ali needed to undergo open heart surgery.

“I was shocked and scared when the doctors gave me the news. I was asking myself how this could be at my young age and whether these were my last days in this world. I have always tried to lose weight and be healthier but other things got in the way. I spoke to my wife and I decided that from now on, my health would be my number one priority,” says Ali.     

Following his successful surgery, Ali worked with Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s cardiometabolic clinic to help manage his diet and exercise, control his diabetes and lower his cholesterol. He stopped smoking and began working out three times per week and eating a much healthier diet. The lifestyle changes he made have led to him losing around 34 kilos in the year since his surgery. In addition to his weight loss, working with the cardiometabolic clinic led to Ali’s cholesterol levels dropping by over 75%. He also saw significant improvement in his blood pressure and HBA1c – a key indicator of his overall blood sugar control.      

“Thanks to my new diet and exercise program, I feel like a different person. Having Dr. Sabbour and the team from Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi with me to answer questions and guide me down the right path has been fantastic. They showed me that anything is possible. I have cut sugar from my diet and eat very healthily now. I also follow my workout routine three times a week without fail. Now I am trying to encourage my family to do the same,” says Ali.   

For his care team, Ali’s transformation exemplifies the importance of recognizing risk factors and symptoms for cardiac issues as well as the power that a more heart-healthy lifestyle can have.   

“The change we’ve seen in Ali has been amazing. He demonstrates that with the right motivation and clinical support, the mind really can triumph over matter. He has managed to overcome many hurdles to transform his life for the better. His decision to start exercising and his warning heart attack might have saved his life. Without them, his condition might have progressed even further,” concludes Dr. Sabbour.  

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi’s ‘MENtion It!’ campaign encourages men to be more open about their health and to break their silence related to health issues or symptoms by mentioning them to a doctor.

About Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi:

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, an integral part of Mubadala Health, is a multispecialty hospital on Al Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi is a unique and unparalleled extension of US-based Cleveland Clinic’s model of care, specifically designed to address a range of complex and critical care requirements unique to the Abu Dhabi population.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi has the following Institutes: Heart & Vascular, Neurological, Digestive Disease, Eye, Respiratory, Critical Care, Surgical Subspecialties, Medical Subspecialties, Emergency Medicine, Anesthesiology, Pathology & Laboratory Medicine, Imaging, Quality & Patient Safety, and Clinical & Nursing. In all, more than 40 medical and surgical specialties are represented at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi.

The facilities at Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi combine state-of-the-art amenities and world-class service standards. The hospital is a 394 (expandable to 490) bed facility, with five clinical floors, three diagnostic and treatment levels, and 13 floors of critical and acute inpatient units. It is a physician-led medical facility served by North American/European Board Certified (or equivalent) physicians. Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi provides patients in the region direct access to the world’s best healthcare providers and Cleveland Clinic’s unique model of care, reducing their need to travel abroad for treatment.

Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi – Al Ain began offering select medical services in December 2017. The facility is located on the Tawam Hospital Campus in Al Ain.

About Mubadala Health:

Mubadala Health is the integrated healthcare network of Mubadala Investment Company. Established in 2021, Mubadala Health operates, manages, and develops a portfolio of healthcare assets including: Cleveland Clinic Abu Dhabi, Healthpoint, Imperial College London Diabetes Centre (ICLDC), Amana Healthcare, National Reference Laboratory (NRL), Capital Health Screening Centre (CHSC), Abu Dhabi Telemedicine Centre (ADTC), Danat Al Emarat, HealthPlus Diabetes & Endocrinology Center, HealthPlus Family Clinics, HealthPlus Fertility, HealthPlus Women’s Health Center, Moorfields Eye Hospital Abu Dhabi, and a stake in Al Meswak Dental Clinics Group. With a vision to transform the regional healthcare landscape, Mubadala Health sets a new benchmark for the UAE and regional healthcare industry through its state-of-the-art facilities and world-class caregivers who strive to put patients first across its continuum of care. Innovation, research, and education are the foundational pillars of Mubadala Health, supporting the further development of a sustainable healthcare sector in line with the vision of Abu Dhabi and the region.