Joy For Family Of Hampshire Baby

A ten-month-old baby from Hampshire who nearly missed out on a vital operation has had the surgery at the last minute.

The parents of 10-month-old Sanika Ahmed from Southsea were told she couldn't be treated on the NHS as her dad's work permit had expired.

She has a shoulder problem which had to be operated on while she was a baby - after her story hit the headlines, she had the surgery in Middlesex.

Syeda said: "This (operation) only happened because of (the) publicity and I'd like to thank everyone who has helped Sanika with this.

"Most of the publicity was positive and we were pleased and surprised at how much support we received from so many people and the media. We are very grateful for that.

"Before Sanika's operation took place I was very sad and very tense and apprehensive. But when I got the appointment I started to hope something good was going to come out of this and we feel it has.

"We have to wait six weeks (from 22nd April) before we know how successful operation has been and then the surgeon will tell us what is next for Sanika.

"There may have to be another operation - it is possible but not definite. They will examine Sanika and decide then.

"The surgeon was very happy with (the) way (the) operation went. He was very angry in the beginning and was asking why treatment had not started. When he heard about the problem straightaway he said there must be an appointment and that he wanted to see Sanika immediately. Within a week (the) appointment came through.

"It all happened very quickly in only two weeks after the pressure from the publicity and that's why we are so grateful."

The family, which includes Sanika's brother Shuhani (now 3 years old) and sister 21-month-old Fariha, who were born in Poole NHS Hospital, have applied for permission to permanently remain in the UK. Muhammad had worked legally in the UK until August 2009.

Solicitor Patrick Oliver, who is a clinical negligence specialist with Swain & Co. Solicitors says the Middlesex hospital's decision to resume NHS treatment was "marvellous news": "Without further treatment Sanika would have faced a life with permanent disability and paralysis of her right arm through no fault of her own. But now she has every chance of making a full recovery. It is the outcome we all wanted for Sanika."