Ras Al Khaimah: Nine-year old girl, Ilham Esmail from Ras Al Khaimah, who looked half her age died on Friday, February 14.
Her father Iftekhar Esmail, who hails from Gujarat, India said little Ilham died in the family’s apartment in Ras Al Khaimah amidst her loved ones.
“She slept on Thursday and did not wake up Friday morning. My wife and I were monitoring her through the night. She was sleeping fine. I am guessing she must have died between 4 and 6 am on Friday. When we woke up in the morning, she was gone,” said Iftekhar, who works as a storekeeper with the Federal Electricity and Water Authority.
Iftekar said his wife Asma nursed the girl at around 2 am.
“My daughter even smiled at her mother. At 6 am, when we woke up we found her sleeping. At 8 am she was still sleeping. So my wife went and touched her forehead and it was cold and she was non-responsive. We immediately called the ambulance and they declared her dead.”
Little Ilham turned 9 years old in December 2019.
She had been suffering from a long-term disease that made her look half her age. She weighed 12 kilos and stood just 99-cm tall.
Iftekhar said her last rites have been done. Ilham was buried on Saturday at a cemetery in Ras Al Khaimah.
Ilham’s parents, Iftekhar and Asma, had approached this newspaper in September 2018 seeking financial help for the girl to survive.
Glutaric academia Type 1
Ilham was diagnosed with glutaric academia type 1 and had not eaten any solid food since she was seven months old.
Glutaric Academia is a rare genetic disorder in which the body is unable to process certain types of protein, and break down amino acids.
It is a rare genetic disorder and prevalent in one in 100,000 births.
Ilham was tube-fed with special formula milk since her body rejected normal food.
She was surviving on the support of a ventilator, oxygen cylinder, tracheostomy tube, trach pads and ties, suction machine and feeding tubes in her nose and stomach that makes her room look more like an ICU in a hospital.
Little Ilham was under the treatment by six specialists at Tawam Hospital in Al Ain.
Sreedharan Prasad, a member of the medical committee volunteers of the Indian Consulate took up the family’s plight with the Consul General of India in Dubai Vipul.
“The family had received interim support from the Indian Relief Committee and other social workers. May the child now rest in peace (RIP),” he told Gulf News.