An eight-year-old Syrian boy living in Paphos has undergone an operation for a brain tumour in Germany and is being kept in an induced coma.
Ahmed Al Shiko was rushed to Germany last Thursday night, accompanied by his father, Abdo, after doctors at Makarios hospital decided he needed to be transferred for specialised surgery, according to refugee group volunteer, Rehab Al Habrat.
She volunteers with both the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and Caritas, a charity working with refugees.
“Ahmed’s mother told me that he had his operation but will be kept asleep for some time. She doesn’t know how long and is very worried,” Al Habrat, who is involved in an appeal to raise funds for the boy’s family, told the Cyprus Mail on Monday.
One Dream, One Wish Foundation – the Cyprus association for children with cancer and related diseases – granted the family 3,000 euros, which was given to Abdo to help him with the expenses he will incur in Germany, according to the general secretary of the foundation, Maro Hadjichristofi.
The charity was founded in 1997 by a group of parents of children suffering from cancer, leukaemia, and other blood diseases.
“We do the best that we can to help give economic support to children and their families, as well as things such as psychological treatment or physiotherapy,” she said.
Al Habrat said that Abdo has been told he will need to stay in Germany with his son for at least six months and will somehow have to cover the cost of his accommodation and food for that time.
She is appealing for donations to help Ahmed’s mother who remains in Paphos with the couple’s younger children, a four-year-old girl and a son who is under a year old.
“She cannot afford the rent, the landlord raised it from 250 euros a month, to 300 euros a month, just before Ahmed became ill,” she said.
“They are in desperate need of money, heaters, food, nappies, baby food, powdered baby milk, baby clothes and wipes.”
The family arrived in Cyprus around six months ago, fleeing Aleppo in Syria and claimed asylum. They only received their first financial assistance from the Cyprus government last week.
A couple of weeks ago, Ahmed had a high fever and head pain during the night and his parents took him to Paphos general hospital , where he was given some medication and then sent home.
He didn’t improve and so his parents took him back to the hospital and he underwent a number of tests including an MRI scan. He was immediately transferred to Makarios hospital in Nicosia for treatment.
For further information or to help: Wendy Burdon, Caritas, Paphos: Tel: 99040294