Gants Hill girl, 7, may be able to walk again after appeal raises �70,000

The father of a girl who needs a life-changing operation in the US has said he is “overwhelmed” by the help he has received from the community.

Atif Ajaib aimed to raise �55,000 for the operation for his seven-year-old daughter Mahlica but has now raised more than �70,000.

Mahlica is unable to walk and suffers from extensive pain due to a form of cerebral palsy.

Mr Ajaib, 37, of Castle View Gardens, Gants Hill, said: “I’m so overwhelmed by the support from the local community.

“Even now I still get phone calls from people who want to help. It’s very, very warming.”

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In April the family had raised almost �10,000 for the operation which will take place next month.

“I’m very excited and anxious to make sure that everything goes to plan,” Mr Ajaib said.

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“It’s going to be life-changing for us as well, we will see her do things that she’s always wanted to do such as walking, running, playing with her friends.”

The family needed to act quickly before Mahlica’s condition deteriorated too far.

“I was optimistic but didn’t think we’d reach it so quickly,” said Mr Ajaib.

“The extra money will be used for physio so that she is strong enough to walk.”

Mahlica was diagnosed with diplegia cerebral palsy which has meant she needs to use a wheelchair. She undergoes daily physiotherapy to prevent her muscles becoming too short and tight.

Mahlica attends Barley Lane Primary School, Huxley Drive, Chadwell Health, which has held fundraising activities to help the family reach their target.

Mr Ajaib said: “It’s so touching to see the kids at her school having events for her. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”

Donations and more information is available at

Mr Ajaib said: “She sees kids doing other things but the fact that she cannot walk means she always feels a little bit left out.”

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