By Bilal Kuchay
The parents of a nine-year-old Pakistani girl whose head hangs at 90-degree angle due to a rare condition have found a ray of hope after political heavyweights have come forward for help.
Afhseen Qumbar from Mithi in Pakistan’s Sindh province was just eight months old when she hurt her neck while playing outside the house.
Since then, she has been living with her head titled on the left side.
Because of the rare muscular disorder Afhseen cannot stand or walk properly and needs help even to eat and go to the toilet.
Her poor parents Allah Jurio, 55, and mother Jameelan, 50, work in their family farms to feed their seven children.
The paucity of money forced the couple to rely on faith healers to treat Afhseen’s condition instead of advance medicines.
However, after the reports of Afhseen’s unusual condition appeared in national and international press, Faryal Talpur, a senior leader of Pakistan Peoples Party and sister of country’s former president Asif Ali Zardari was drawn to her case.
Ms Talpur has offered to pay for little Afhseen’s surgery.
“Faryal Talpur saw Afhseen’s video on social media and was moved by her condition.
“She has personally requested Dr Ather Inam, the neurosurgeon to take the case on priority basis.
“All expenses for Afhseen’s treatment will be paid by Faryal from her personal source,” senior PPP leader Nad Baloch said.
Baloch had visited Afhseen at Aga Khan University Hospital in Karachi where she was admitted on Thursday for a possible surgery under supervision of Dr Ather Inam.
The girl is severely malnourished and needs to undergo several tests before doctors can decide on the complicated surgery.
Baloch said: “Dr Inam has told us that Afhseen is weak and under weight.
“She needs to be fit for the surgery. Nutritionists at Aga Khan Hospital will take care of her diet to prepare her for surgery which will be done later this month.
“The doctor has also advised her admission for CT angiography of cerebral artery and said after angiography we will be able to plan the future treatment process.”
While it is still early to know if and when Afhseen can be operated, her parents are elated with the support they have finally received for their daughter’s treatment.
Jameelan said: “We are extremely grateful to Faryal Talpur for extending her help. We are now hopeful that doctors will be able to do a surgery that would give my daughter a normal life.
“All our lives we have waited for that day when we will get support for Afhseen’s treatment.
“We never had money for taking her to advance hospitals and depended on local faith healers for a miracle.
“As she grow older, her condition kept deteriorating and problems became complicated.
“She isn’t able to keep her head upright at all and often complains of pain in the neck.
“We have all our hopes pinned on Dr Inam now. We have been told she would need various tests before doctors can perform the surgery. All the expenses would be incurred by Ms Talpur.”