Statement from Positive Action in Housing
Baby Mohammad Sudais will be finally arriving this evening in Glasgow on Emirates Flight EK025 around 19:06 hrs Thursday 20 February 2014. The baby will be accompanied by his uncle Mohammad Asif who flew out to Dubai last night to meet the baby’s flight from Peshawar, Pakistan.Tom Harrigan MBE, trustee, and Robina Qureshi, Director, both from the refugee and migrant charity Positive Action in Housing will be meeting the family off the plane.
Tom Harrigan MBE, a retired Chief Inspector with Strathclyde Police, and supporter of a children's orphanage in India, has agreed to be a trustee of the Baby Mohammad Appeal. He will be one of a small group of people tasked with ensuring the appeal funds are spent in an open and transparent manner for Baby Mohammad's present and future medical needs.
Tom Harrigan said:
“We are very glad Baby Mohammad is now in Scotland. I personally would like to thank everyone who donated so generously to this Appeal. I’d also like to show my appreciation to the Scottish Government for its spontaneous support. The money raised will be utilised to help with Baby Mohammad’s present and future special need, and we will keep everyone updated as to his progress.”
Robina Qureshi said:
"When we began this Appeal 12 days ago we never imagined the generosity that would come forward from people across the UK. I’m glad we were able help in some small way.
"We want to thank the Scottish Health Secretary Alex Neil MSP for acting with speed and compassion. Total respect to him for acting from the heart. We also want to thank Punjab Governor Mohammad Sarwar, Margaret Curran MP, the British High Commission in Islamabad, the Scottish Government's international adviser Robert Dunn and the Yorkhill Hospital for helping to bring this child to Scotland for emergency medical treatment. This treatment was unavailable in Afghanistan or Pakistan. Most of all, we want to thank the many people and organisations who raised donations and wrote letters of support for the family. Without you, this child would not be here tonight. Baby Mohammad's arrival in Scotland is a measure of this country's renowned humanitarian spirit. For now, he is Scotland's Baby".
Baby Mohammad now faces years of painful surgery to reconstruct his face. Scotland's Canniesburn unit is world renowned. His life was at risk of infection, thankfully he will soon be in safe hands.He was orphaned when he tragically lost his mother, father and 13 month old baby brother, in a Peshawar Gas explosion at their home in December 2013.
Positive Action in Housing, the refugee and migrant homelessness charity, together with its 27,000 supporters, led a relentless 12 day campaign to raise funds and secure urgent medical treatment for Baby Mohammad in Glasgow. His Uncle had tried unsuccessfully for five weeks to make progress until he approached us. The first stage of this campaign was to enable Baby Mohammad to travel to Glasgow for medical treatment. We achieved much more than that. £12,875 has been raised so far of an initial £20K target. The next stage in his recovery will be medical treatment to rebuild his face. Watch this space.
Baby Mohammad suffered 80% “full thickness skin loss” to his face when a gas explosion took place in his parents Peshawar home. A gas heater in the parents’ bedroom is believed to have been the cause of the explosion. During the night, while the family slept, a gas outage took place. When the gas heater turned on again, it did not reignite. The family had breathed in two to three hours of gas. Baby Mohammad’s 28 year old mother, Sumaira, was dizzy when she woke. She did not realise the smell and reignited the gas heater. The force of the explosion threw her into the air. She suffered 80% burns. Baby Mohammad’s father Mohammad Ameen (36) and baby brother Abdul Haseeb (13 months) also were burned badly. Relatives and neighbours fought flames to rescue the family. The force of the explosion resulted in Baby Mohammad being blown under the bed. His body was wrapped tightly in swaddling, as is the Muslim custom, and was survived the flames. However, his face was burning. The boy’s parents and 13 month old brother all died a few days after the explosion. Doctors expected Baby Mohammad to die first. A rudimentary skin graft was carried out in Pakistan. In addition, the child is understood to have since lost skin to his face as a result of infection. Doctors in Pakistan recommended that the best facilities for the child were in Glasgow’s renowned Canniesburn Unit, where the boy David Lopez was treated in the 1970s and 1980s by Dr Iain Jackson.