Parents hope to move disabled daughter Tafida to Italian hospital within weeks

A couple hope to move their severely disabled five-year-old daughter to an Italian hospital within the next two weeks after winning a High Court life support treatment fight, lawyers said.

Specialists caring for Tafida Raqeeb at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel said further treatment was futile because the youngster had permanent brain damage, was in a minimally conscious state and had no chance of recovery.

Tafida’s parents, who live in Newham, east London, want to move her to Gaslini children’s hospital in Genoa, Italy, and have organised funding.

Her mother, solicitor Shelina Begum, and father, construction consultant Mohammed Raqeeb, said doctors there would keep providing life support treatment until Tafida was diagnosed as brain dead.

They said Tafida, who has a British-Bangladeshi background, came from a Muslim family and Islamic law only allowed God to end life.

Tafida Raqeeb
Tafida Raqeeb (Family handout/PA)

A judge has ruled that Tafida can be moved to Italy.

Lawyers representing Tafida’s parents said they hope to transfer the youngster in the next 10 days.

Mr Justice MacDonald had analysed evidence at a recent High Court trial in London and delivered a ruling on Thursday.

Bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the Royal London Hospital, had asked the judge to rule that stopping life support treatment was in Tafida’s best interests.

Lawyers representing Tafida had asked him to rule that she could be moved to Italy.

They had taken instructions from a relative and their application was backed by Tafida’s parents.

Mr Justice MacDonald had heard how Tafida woke her parents in the early hours in February complaining of a headache.

She collapsed shortly afterwards and doctors discovered that blood vessels in her brain were tangled and had ruptured.

Solicitor Paul Conrathe of Sinclairslaw, who represented Tafida’s parents, said after the hearing: “The hope is that Tafida will be able to go to Italy within the next 10 days.”

Lawyers representing the trust said bosses are considering an appeal.

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