Parents of baby denied arm-saving op say city is home

HAPPY Syeda Ahmed with daughter Sanika
HAPPY Syeda Ahmed with daughter Sanika
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THE parents of a baby who was denied an operation to save her right arm from paralysis have spoken of their position.

Relying on a relative for shelter as they cannot legally work, Muhammad Ahmed, 37, of Pains Road in Southsea and wife Syeda, 29, say they cannot simply go to Bangladesh with eight-month-old daughter Sanika.

As previously reported, Sanika suffers from Erb’s palsy and needs an operation before she reaches nine-months-old to save her arm.

She has a damaged nerve after a shoulder was trapped under her mum’s pelvic bone.

The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in Middlesex said it could not give her the surgery as her parents do not have leave to stay in the UK.

Speaking to The News, Muhammad explained that after coming to England in July 2008 his life is now here.

He said: ‘When I came here I was single, now I have a wife and three kids. They are all born here.

‘They are growing up here so it is not easy to go back to Bangladesh and start again.’

The hospital said the family can pay for the treatment.

But Muhammad said he cannot afford to as his work permit ran out in August 2009.

He and Syeda live with her uncle Abdul Kather, 42, with his family in Southsea.

Sanika’s parents report to Southsea police station once a month and say they are not hiding from the authorities.

The hospital’s decision has come as a bitter blow to Syeda.

She said: ‘We’re struggling to look after her and our two other daughters. I started to hope treatment would start but then we received the letter.

‘All hope is gone and we are shocked and can’t eat.’

Muhammad added: ‘We will keep on fighting.’

The pair are applying for leave to stay in the UK.

Sanika, pictured above, will be assessed by a peripheral nerve injury consultant at the hospital.

Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock wrote to the hospital, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt and local commissioners to support the family.