Mum’s mission to help fund life-saving lung op for Maira
PUBLISHED: 07:00 06 February 2015 | UPDATED: 11:40 17 February 2015
The mother of a baby with cystic fibrosis is fundraising to fly another youngster with the condition 5,000 miles across the world for life-saving treatment.
Ruthba Amin, who lives in Cedar Close, Ilford, is hoping to raise enough money to bring seven-year-old Maira Junaid from her home in Pakistan to see a specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH), in central London.
Doctors in Pakistan say Maira needs an urgent lung transplant, but with no specialists there who can perform the operation, her only hope of survival is to go abroad.
Ruthba, whose 11-month-old daughter Aqsa has the condition, launched the appeal Help Maira To Breathe after being contacted over Facebook by Maira’s mother Sumera, who saw her post on a support group.
The 27-year-old said: “As a mother, my heart goes out to Sumera and I wish there was something I could do.
“There is an inevitable cost of all the treatment my daughter has, and because we have the NHS the only thing I have to worry about is my daughter, and nothing else.
“I am thankful every day that I was born and brought up in in the UK.
“My daughter’s chance of survival is much higher than poor Maira’s. This is something that can be helped, and I hope someone hears my call and comes out to help.”
Ruthba said her daughter’s consultant at GOSH, Dr Paul Aurora, believed specialists here may be able to help Maira without performing a transplant.
But even a month of treatment in the UK will cost around £150,000 – with a transplant estimated at £500,000.
Contacting her on Facebook, Sumera – who doesn’t speak English – said she had spent years searching for an Urdu speaker to discuss the family’s plight.
“She saw my name and asked for my help,” said Ruthba.
“I am actually Bengali and can speak a little Urdu and so I am trying my best to convey her message to everyone.
“Maira’s mother is fearful of losing her daughter. She just wants her to have access to the knowledge and care we have.
“Her mother and father are both young hardworking professionals that would work themselves to no end to save their daughter.
“All the money they have has gone into buying medication for Maira.”
To donate, visit gofundme.com/j76bp8.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ilford Recorder. Click the link in the orange box below for details.