5-year-old Tafida was declared brain dead by the doctors but her parents fought for a second chance.
Sometimes, when doctors give up hope on the recovery of a loved one, we decide to hold on to one last hope against hopes, just to see if some different outcome is possible. We choose to fight the obvious possibility to see what if... Something very similar happened to a 5-year-old Tafida and her parents, Shelina Begum and Mohammed Raqeeb from East London.
According to Daily Mail, Tafida was admitted to the hospital on February 8, 2019, after experiencing breathing trouble. After a CT scan at the Newham University Hospital, she was diagnosed with a rare condition known as arteriovenous malformation or AVM. She was then transferred to another hospital for risky surgery. The doctors told her mother, Shelina that their daughter only had a 1 percent chance of surviving the operation. However, they went through with the surgery.
The events that followed were heartbreaking. Though the young girl survived a 7-hour long operation, she went into a coma. "Her face was swollen like a balloon. She was so ill I wasn't even allowed to touch her," recalled the mother. Though the family was told she would die within 24 hours, a brain stem test gave them hope. The test showed that the girl was not brain dead despite her heart failure.
Two weeks later, the family was overjoyed. The girl opened her eyes, lifting the hopes of her family. Soon the family started researching the girl's condition. On deeper research, a Canadian brain surgeon told the girl's parents that the kid could still recover despite being in a state of coma. The expert said that the process would take up to a year. However, medical experts treating Tafida were not convinced.
After being transferred to Royal London Hospital in April and even considering a tracheostomy, the medical staff changed their minds. By June, the doctors told the family that the treatments were futile.
"They sat us down and said: 'Look, we are taking the decision away from you. Any more treatment is futile'. They would take her breathing tube out and that would be it," recalled the mother. The medical staff said it was better to remove the life support of the girl who was "minimally conscious."
However, Tafida's parents were unwilling to give up. They got into a legal battle against the decision of the hospital.
"My only priority is Tafida — it always has been. I want what every mother would — the chance to see her daughter grow up and live the life she was meant to. Tafida is not dying. She is not brain dead. There is ample evidence she is improving. She just needs time," said the mother to Daily Mail.
Though her parents believed she was improving, the doctors and experts at the Royal London Hospital strongly disagreed. They even refused permission to fly the girl to Italy.
Mum of brain-damaged girl, 5, taking NHS to court saying she 'won't let her die' - Mirror Online talian doctors told the parents of Tafida Raqeeb that they can help the five-year-old, but the NHS refuses to sign off on a transfer https://t.co/gLoO3H7JCf— John Smith (@jjsmith1245) August 6, 2019
During the hearing that was held to decide the future of the 5-year-old, the mother told Justice Alistair MacDonald that she disagrees with the claims made by the hospital. When the judge asked the devastated mum what Tafida would have wanted, she replied, "Why am I not being given a chance?” quoted The Sun.
She even told the court that she had recorded her child's recovery since being admitted to the hospital. Shelina, a lawyer also presented a video before the court that showed the little girl responding to her nanny's voice.
However, the NHS trust argued that all doctors including the ones in Italy agreed that there was no prospect of the girl recovering. They said that she could not swallow, taste, see, or breath without a ventilator as her brain stem was damaged.
After a long legal battle, Tafida was granted permission to fly to Italy for further treatments. Accompanied by her mother and four medical professionals, the young girl was flown to the Gaslini Children's Hospital in Genoa, Italy on 15 October 2019. The latest updates say that the girl is settling in well.