Five-year-old Haleema Mohammed’s trip to India to undergo a bone marrow transplant has been delayed by a few days to allow her to do another blood transfusion and for her doctors to assess her to ensure she is in good health to travel.
Haleema, her parents and her seven-year-old brother Haleem, who is her donor, were scheduled to leave today for India but will now leave next Monday instead.
Haleema was diagnosed with Beta Thalassemia Major, a blood disorder, since she was 18 months old. She was accepted by the Fortis Memorial Research Institute, Gurgaon, India to undergo a bone marrow transplant at a cost of $400,000.
Her ailment requires her to visit the hospital twice per month for blood transfusions.
The child’s mother Kristal Mohammed said days before she undergoes blood transfusion, she would develop a high fever, become listless and nauseous and begin vomiting.
Haleema’s father Hamil is a construction worker while Kristal is a housewife.
The couple has three children and Haleema is the youngest. An application for assistance from the Children’s Life Fund Authority was turned down on the basis that the condition is not a life threatening one. But with the help of sponsors and fund-raisers, her parents were able to acquire the money for the surgery and three-month stay in India.
After the surgery on Haleema she would be required to stay in India for three months for doctors to continue to monitor her recovery.
Her brother, who will be donating bone marrow, will also have to undergo surgery.
When Haleema was 18 months old, her mother noticed something was wrong and took her to the doctor where she was diagnosed with the disorder. She has been hospitalised on numerous occasions and is required to do blood transfusions on a fortnightly basis.
Desperate for their little girl to have a better life, her mother and her father decided to seek the public’s help in raising the large sum of money.
The lion’s share of the money came through donations to the Islamic Broadcasting Network owned by businessman Inshan Ishmael with corporate Trinidad and Tobago and well wishers making up the difference within two to three weeks.