By ANIQA HAIDER
gulf daily news
|Vol XXXI|| NO. 311|| ||Sunday || ||25th JANUARY 2009 |
AN urgent appeal has gone out for blood donors for a dangerously ill 14-year-old girl who must undergo an operation.
Bahraini Ruqaiya Mohammed Ghuloom suffers from the blood disease thalassemia and needs surgery on her stomach to remove excessive iron built up by frequent blood transfusions.
She is due to undergo the operation on Thursday and her family say they need AB+ blood donors in case of emergency.
Ruqaiya was diagnosed with thalassemia at the age of six months and was admitted to Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) until the age of one.
She has since had to go to the SMC every other week for two to three days of blood transfusions, which is a painful process, said her father Mohammed Ghuloom.
He said accumulation of iron in the stomach was a life-threatening side-effect of multiple transfusions.
"My daughter is suffering and I am helpless," said the retired Bahrain International Airport official.
"The doctors said they have to operate her on Thursday and we are all worried about her."
Ruqaiya attends a government school, but her condition is deteriorating rapidly, said Mr Ghuloom, who currently works in a private construction company.
"She is not able to continue her studies and has to skip her classes whenever she goes for treatment," he said.
"But the school principal, teachers and her classmates are very helpful as they know about her condition."
Her mother, Laila Mohammed Hussain, keeps daily vigil at her side whenever she is admitted to the hospital, said Mr Ghuloom.
"Her mother is desperate to see her in good health," he said.
"She wants to see her like other children, but has given up hope as she can never be like them. But she is praying to God to grant her daughter life and good health."
Thalassemia patients need frequent red blood cell transfusions, said consultant paediatric haematologist and head of the thalassemia committee Dr Najat Mahdi.
"It is an inherited condition and cannot be caught or passed on to another person," she said.
"The most common treatment for all major forms of thalassemia is red blood cell transfusions. These transfusions are necessary to provide the patient with a temporary supply of healthy red blood cells with normal haemoglobin," said Dr Mahdi.
"Today, most patients with a major form of thalassemia receive red blood cell transfusions every two to three weeks, amounting to as much as 52 pints of blood a year.
"However, this may lead to excess iron in the body, which may require further treatment," she said.
Individuals who have blood group AB+ and wish to donate or refer anyone for the donation can call Mr Ghuloom on 39917776 or Ms Hussain on 39266181. firstname.lastname@example.org