Sheikha Latifa to treat girl facing paralysis

Iraqi girl to be sent to Germany for operation in the backbone

An Iraqi girl facing paralysis because of a backbone fracture has finally seen her dream fulfilled to get treatment abroad after Sheikha Latifa bint Rashid Al Maktoum decided to pay her all treatment costs in Germany.

Hala, 28, said Sheikha Latifa would pay nearly Dh125,000 for the treatment at a specialized German hospital plus a one-month residence expenses and a first class air ticket to the European country.

The Dubai-based Arabic language daily Emirat Alyoum said Sheikha Latifa made the gesture after it published Hala’s ordeal a few days ago and an appeal by her family for help given their limited financial resources.

Hala, who lives in the eastern oasis town of Al Ain with her mother and three sisters following the death of their father, is suffering from unknown fractures in her backbone and local doctors said a surgery in Al Ain could be 70 per cent successful. But she was told she could be fully treated abroad.

Hala has been living on antibiotics and painkillers while the fracture has made it difficult for her to walk or sit for more than 10 minutes.

Since her father died a few years ago, her uncle (mother’s brother) has supported them and paid for their house’s rent in Al Ain. Hala said she had made an appeal for help because her uncle ca not afford the treatment trip to Munich.

“I am very grateful to Sheikha Latifa for giving me hope to recover….I am not surprised by her gesture because she has always been a pioneer in helping others…with this help, it is time to get rid of my intolerable pains,” she said.