Iranian girl’s surgery in US cancelled due to Trump travel ban

Team Udayavani, Feb 4, 2017, 12:10 PM IST

Washington DC (USA): US President Donald Trump’s controversial immigration policy on seven Muslim-majority countries has led to the cancellation of a life-saving surgery on a 4-month-old Iranian infant for a heart condition.

Baby Fatemah and her family were supposed to fly in for an appointment for a surgical consultation at at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) next week, but they were not able to finish their trip because of Trump’s executive order on immigration, KPTV reported.

The gravely ill baby is Iranian, but Fatemah’s family has decided they did not want her to have surgery in her birth country due to concerns about the quality of medical services. “Over there, it’s a very high risk because it’s open heart surgery,” her uncle, Sam Taghizadeh, said.

Fatemah Taghizadeh’s parents were hoping to meet with doctors in Oregon on February 5 for the emergency surgery and travelled to Dubai to get the US visa. 

Their embassy appointment was cancelled because of the executive order preventing Iranian nationals, among others, from travelling to the US, Taghizadeh, who is a US citizen and lives in Portland, told reporters. “All the paper, everything was ready, and just in the last minute they cancelled everything,” Taghizadeh said.

“It’s like a nightmare. You know, in the one night everything changes. Now you don’t know what you’re going to do,” said Taghizadeh.

“Why we came to US, we came here for freedom. For a better life. I’m feeling nowhere is safe,” Taghizadeh said.

Fatemah and her family left Dubai and are they are now back in Iran. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has expressed outrage and said the Empire State would be glad to help little Fatemah.

“Here’s the consequence of this un-American policy,” Cuomo tweeted yesterday. “An exception should be made. If OR has issue, NY will provide care,” New York Post reported.

“The pain and damage of this flawed federal policy is especially repulsive in this case preventing a child from getting life saving treatment,” said Cuomo spokesman Rich Azzopardi.

“If the plane lands in New York the Governor will personally make sure the child gets the health care she needs. New York and America does not let children die because we deprived them of healthcare.?”

Trump last week signed a sweeping executive order to suspend the arrival of refugees and impose tough new controls on travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Syria and Yemen.

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