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Judge considers evidence in life-support dispute over brain injury girl

The parents of five-year-old Tafida Raqeeb want to take her to Italy for treatment.

Tafida Raqeeb is suffering from a traumatic brain injury (Family handout/PA)
Tafida Raqeeb is suffering from a traumatic brain injury (Family handout/PA)

By Brian Farmer, PA

A High Court judge has begun analysing evidence in a life-support dispute centred on a seriously-ill five-year-old girl.

Mr Justice MacDonald has heard that Tafida Raqeeb has “very serious” brain damage.

Doctors treating Tafida at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel say the damage is “permanent” and there is no chance of recovery.

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Tafida Raqeeb’s want to take her out of the Royal London Hospital for treatment in Italy (Family handout/PA)

Bosses at Barts Health NHS Trust, which runs the hospital, want a judge to decide whether stopping “life-sustaining treatment” is in the youngster’s best interests

Tafida’s mother, solicitor Shelina Begum, 39, and father, Mohammed Raqeeb, 45, a construction consultant, want to move her to Gaslini children’s hospital in Genoa, Italy, and have organised funding for treatment.

The couple, from Newham, east London, say Gaslini is the Italian equivalent of Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and specialists there are willing to treat their daughter, who turned five on June 10.

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Tafida’s mother, Shelina Begum, said she has been following the cases of Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans (Sian Harrison/PA)

The case raises echoes of high-profile life-support treatment disputes featuring two other children – Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans.

Tafida’s mother said before going into the hearing on Monday: “I did follow Charlie Gard and Alfie Evans and I never knew in my wildest dreams I’d be here today, fighting for my daughter’s life.”

She said she had been at the hospital with Tafida before travelling to court.

PA

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