Mickhela Alexander (NYLO Intern)
Preparations are well on the way for five-year-old Haleema Mohammed, who is suffering from Beta Thalassemia Major ( a blood disorder ), and her parents’ visit to India for a bone marrow transplant next month.
The family opted to go to India where the bone marrow transplant will cost $400,000 as opposed to Italy where the operation costs in excess of $1 million.
The surgery is to be done at the Fortis Memorial Research Institute (FMRI), Gurgaon, India.
After a request for assistance for the child was turned down by the Children’s Life Fund Authority (CLFA) on the ground that the medical condition was not life threatening, Haleema’s parents highlighted their plight and pleaded for assistance to raise the funding for the operation.
With the Islamic Broadcasting Network, IBN, spearheading the fund-raising effort, the money was raised in less than one month with contributions from citizens and prominent business people.
While Haleema’s condition is not life threatening, it requires the young girl to have blood transfusions every two to three weeks. The child’s mother Kristal Mohammed said she is determined for her child to live a normal life.
Haleema was diagnosed with Beta Thalassemia Major from the tender age of eighteen months. This condition has resulted in her having a high fever and bouts of vomiting on a regular basis.
Speaking during a telephone interview yesterday, Kristal revealed that plans are moving along smoothly.
“Haleema is okay for the while, she is excited for the trip at the moment.
“However, before she departs, doctors must conduct some tests and she must receive blood transfusions to ensure that she will be in a stable condition until she arrives in India.”
She said Haleema will visit the San Fernando General Hospital tomorrow for a check-up before they leave for India.
The family is expected to stay for three months so that doctors can monitor Haleema’s condition following the surgery.