High Court Case 5-Year-Old Out of Intensive Care

Nicky Broyd

January 09, 2020

The 5-year-old girl at the centre of a High Court case between her parents and Royal London hospital doctors is out of paediatric intensive care in Italy.

Tafida Raqeeb from Newham in East London had been in a coma since last February after an arteriovenous malformation related traumatic brain injury.

Her UK doctors said there was no chance of her recovering.

Her parents began a legal and fundraising campaign to be allowed to take her to the Gaslini Children's Hospital in Genoa. In October, the High Court ruled against the London hospital and allowed her to travel to Italy for treatment.

Yesterday, doctors at the Italian children's hospital said the girl had been transferred to a residential unit for children with chronic or incurable illnesses. They plan to give her rehabilitative care and will partially remove assisted ventilation.

"Tafida no longer needs intensive care," said Andrea Moscatelli, Gaslini’s neonatal and paediatric intensive care unit lead. "In cases of very serious neurological damage such as these, the prognosis is practically impossible. We will know over time. We are trying to give this little girl time to understand if there’ll be a potential improvement, and much of that potential improvement is yet to be understood."

UK Doctors 'Proven Wrong'

At a news conference, Tafida's mum Shelina Begum, said: "Tafida is out of phase one of the ICU.

"Today is a very special day for us."

She said: "We always knew Tafida wasn't dying. I would also like to say a big thank you to Tafida's medical team in Gaslini. They've all played a very, very important role in Tafida's care since we have been here."

She continued: "One thing I want to point out is that the medical opinion that was placed in court in the UK and the prognosis are being proven wrong by Tafida herself. She continues to improve. I'm not going to go into any details now because I want to respect Tafida's privacy, but in the next few months we should be able to give you some more good news on her improvement."

A spokesperson for Barts Health NHS Trust said: "We continue to wish Tafida and her family well. It would be inappropriate for us to comment on the status of a patient who is no longer under our care."

The President of the Ligurian Region of Italy, Giovanni Toti posted on Facebook:" "Today is a special day," said Tafida's mum. And it really is, for all of Liguria which has become a little bit [like] the second family of the little one.

"Thanks to the extraordinary care and work of the doctors and all the operators of Gaslini, Tafida's life is no longer in danger and she has been transferred from the intensive care unit to the paediatric hospice. Not only an excellence worldwide, but a symbol of hope for the families of many children who fight against the disease."

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