DUBAI: Little Kawthar’s frail body has already taken so much: She’s partially blind, suffers from microcephaly and spastic quadriparesis, a severe form of cerebral palsy that affects the entire body.
The 14-month-old girl is currently hooked to a ventilator — two tubes go through her nose — and an IV is perched on her right hand, attached to a brace. Kawthar was born pre-term along with her twin brother in Ajman’s Shaikh Khalifa Hospital on May 24, 2011. The Caesarian-section delivery was done after doctors detected less movement by one of the twins.
Ahmad Ali, Kawthar’s jobless British-Iraqi father, has appealed for help. “I am anxious about Kawthar’s deteriorating condition. I am appealing for help from generous people,” Ali told XPRESS. Both Kawthar and her twin brother Hassan weighed 2.4kg at birth. Hassan is doing well.
At seven months, an MRI scan revealed she has cerebral palsy, which causes her mental retardation. Last January, Dr Mahmoud Shamseldeen, a paediatrician at GMC Hospital in Ajman, diagnosed her with defective myelination of the brain.
At eight months, paediatric neurologist Dr Gururaj Aithala concluded Kawthar was developmentally delayed: she wasn’t reaching out or grasping, had weak reflexes and her crying was also weak. She was last readmitted to Latifa Hospital on July 6 with high fever, tachycardia and anorexia.
A medical report seen by XPRESS showed Kawthar had left-side pneumonia which required ventilation and intensive care management with antibiotics and bronchodilator. At present, she is ventilator-dependent and is in the ICU that costs Dh3,800 per day.
“The doctors have tried keeping her away from the artificial ventilators,” said Ali. “However, she is unable to breathe and is getting weaker day by day.”
Her doctors at Latifa Hospital advised the family to take Kawthar to London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital for further treatment.
The total cost of the trip would be around Dh68,500. The family still owes Dh10,000 to Shaikh Khalifa Hospital, while the outstanding bill at Latifa Hospital as of August 7 was Dh175,500, besides the daily ICU charges.
“We have full faith in Allah, and that the UK specialists may be able to treat her condition,” said Ali. “We are worried as Kawthar’s condition is getting worse and thought the best thing to do would be to make this a public appeal.”
Those who want to help Kawthar may write to firstname.lastname@example.org