Eight-year old needs urgent help

DUBAI — Life seems to have come to a standstill for eight-year-old girl Aseel Ahmad. A special rod inserted in her spine during an operation for treatment of leukaemia earlier is not stretching any further, even as the child is growing. As a result, the condition of the cherubic, always-smiling girl is deteriorating very fast.

By Riyasbabu

Published: Thu 24 May 2007, 8:38 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 4:27 AM

To add to the little girl's woes, the rod needs to be lengthened once every year as the child grows, but the equipment for inserting the rod is currently not available in any of the hospitals in the UAE. So she needs to be sent abroad for the process, but her father, a Palestinian, is without a job and cannot afford to do so.

Four years ago, doctors had diagnosed Aseel as suffering from leukaemia.

"We were shattered to learn about it," said the mother, Rania, a Jordanian. "We spent all our earnings and savings for her medication and a bone marrow transplant, but a few months later she was paralysed."

Aseel's parents then contacted the Shaikh Mohammed Foundation for Charity, which extended all financial assistance in taking her to a hospital in London.

"Doctors in Portland Hospital in London performed the surgery and the rod was inserted in her spine. She felt better soon after the surgery and responded well to the treatment for leukaemia," said Rania.

However, as anticipated, the metal rod stopped stretching further. And thus started Aseel's woes.

A medical evaluation report prepared by Dr Robert Mervyn Letts, a consultant paediatric orthopaedic surgeon at Khalifa Medical City, Abu Dhabi, has advised Aseel's parents to take her to the same hospital in the UK where she was treated earlier.

"But it will cost us around Dh200,000," said the father, Ahmad.

"I worked as a PRO with a company in Ajman but I could not report to work regularly as I was always moving from one hospital to another for my daughter's treatment," the distraught father pointed out.

More news from