Parents win battle: Court allow to take girl to Italy



The parents of a severely disabled girl have won a High Court life-support fight to take her to Italy for treatment.

Tafida Raqeeb was a healthy four-year-old girl until a blood vessel in her brain burst on February 9 this year, leading doctors to give her only 24 hours to live.

Despite defying their prognosis and making some signs of improvement on a ventilator over the last seven months, doctors at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel said the damage was permanent.

Tafida’s parents’ Shelina Begum and father Mohammed Raqeeb argued that she should be flown out to Gaslini hospital in Italy.

Specialists at Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel had said the damage is permanent and that there is no chance of recovery.

Tafida’s parents, from Newham in East London, had organised funds to take her to the children’s hospital in Genoa, which is the Italian equivalent of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

Doctors there had been willing to treat their daughter.

Mohammed previously described the moment when the doctors told her they would take out Tafida’s breathing tube.

“They sat us down and said ‘look, we are taking the decision away from you, we are saying it is futile’,” he said.

“It was the first time I’d heard them use that word. “They said ‘we cannot carry on with her treatment any more.

“Therefore we will end this here, we would like you to come to terms with it. On a date we will ex-tubate her take out her breathing tube and that’s it. If you don’t agree, we will take you to court’.”

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