Health

Tafida Raqeeb: Brain-damaged girl in High Court case out of intensive care

Tafida Raqeeb in hospital Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Tafida Raqeeb has been able to breathe without aid for an hour

A brain-damaged girl who was taken to Italy for treatment after her parents won a High Court battle to prevent her life support being switched off is out of intensive care, doctors have said.

Genoa’s Gaslini hospital said Tafida Raqeeb, from London, had been partially weaned off assisted ventilation.

Speaking to an Italian newspaper, doctors said she had “spent an hour detached from the fan”.

Her mother, Shelina Begum, said the family’s fight had been vindicated.

Last autumn, Barts Health NHS Trust tried to block Tafida being taken abroad for more treatment, saying ending her life support was in her best interests.

Tafida was five years old when she was put on life support in February after suffering a traumatic brain injury.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Shelina Begum and husband Mohammed Raqeeb said doctors in Italy would continue to treat their daughter unless she was diagnosed as brain dead

She travelled to Italy in October after her parents Shelina Begum and Mohammed Raqeeb, from Newham, won permission at the High Court.

In a Gaslini hospital statement, Dr Andrea Moscatelli said: “Tafida no longer needs intensive care.”

Luca Manfredini, head of its chronic illnesses unit, where Tafida will stay from now on, said they expected to continue “promoting the withdrawal of assisted breathing devices, which has already started”.

In an interview with la Repubblica newspaper, Dr Moscatelli denied the British doctors made a wrong diagnosis and explained medical staff in Genoa had completed a program the High Court deemed valid in the interest of the child.

“We stabilized it with a neurosurgery and performed a tracheotomy to improve respiratory function.

“She is now an hour detached from the fan: She begins to breathe autonomously. The goal is to consolidate this result.”

The hospital said it would now try to stabilize her to be cared for at home.

Image copyright Gasolini Hospital, Genoa
Image caption Gaslini Hospital staff and Tafida’s mother Shelina Begum (bottom far right)

During the high court hearing the Genoa medical team said they did not foresee any therapies that might improve her neurological condition.

Her neurological state has not changed since being at the Gaslini but she is more comfortable, the hospital said.

But Ms Begum. a solicitor said: “The opinion expressed by British doctors before the High Court and the prognosis made has been proven incorrect.

“We should be able to give you good news in the coming months,” she added.

Image copyright Family Handout
Image caption Tafida Raqeeb suffered a traumatic brain injury in February and has been on life support ever since

Before she left for Genoa, Barts said although Tafida has suffered devastating brain damage they could not rule out a small spontaneous recovery in the months ahead.

Source: bbc.co.uk

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