Critically ill baby trapped in Gaza has 'days to live' unless evacuated for lifesaving transplant

Sadeel Hamdan is nine months old and her doctors say she could die without a medical evacuation

Words by ITV News Producer Roohi Hasan.

Time is running out for a critically ill baby in Gaza who is in desperate need of a lifesaving liver transplant.

Sadeel Hamdan is nine months old and her doctors say she could die without a medical evacuation to receive urgent treatment, which she cannot get in the enclave. Her condition is fast deteriorating, doctors said.

Dr Abed, a paediatrician at Al Aqsa Hospital and member of Children not Numbers - an NGO dedicated to supporting ill and injured children affected by active conflict - spoke to ITV News about Sadeel's condition.

He explained she has liver cirrhosis which has led to her severe ascites, where fluid accumulates in the belly.

Now, he is appealing to "save Sadeel’s life" and says she will face death in a few days without a medical evacuation.

"No words can describe what we are seeing," said Dr Abed.

Sadeel's mother and father say they are desperate for her to leave Gaza so she can get the transplant to save her life.

They say "every minute counts" and she will have "no chance" if she remains in the hospital.

The urgent appeal comes after previous efforts to get Sadeel treatment abroad ended in failure.

Her name had been put on a list of children due to be medically evacuated, but hopes were ended when the Rafah crossing was closed on May 7 when Israel took over the border.

Sadeel and other critically ill patients have been trapped inside Gaza since and health officials say their conditions are deteriorating.

Sadeel Hamdan has severe ascites where fluid accumulates in the belly.

Those trying to evacuate them describe the closing as "a death sentence".

The British founders of Children not Numbers, Somaya Ouazzani and Sarah Ben Tarifite, said: "We secured approval for Sadeel’s medical evacuation out Gaza shortly before the crossing closed on May 6.

"Since then, with each day that has passed and the crossing has remained closed, she’s got closer and closer to death.

"We had a golden window of opportunity several weeks ago to evacuate her when she was stable and responding well to medications whilst she awaited an urgent liver transplant.

"But the crossing’s closure may very well cost her life."

They added that Sadeel’s case is not the only one.

Sadeel Hamdan is waiting for a medical evacuation to receive treatment abroad.

The United Nations, World Health Organisation (WHO) and several global NGOs have appealed throughout the conflict for hospitals to be protected.

Gaza’s healthcare has been decimated over eight months with hospitals under fire from above and on the ground at times leaving more than two thirds of hospitals not functioning, according to a report by the WHO.

According to the United Nations, children have made up a large part of 100,000 plus reported Palestinian casualties in the last eight months of the conflict.

Gaza’s Ministry of Health has reported that more than 15,000 children have been killed and tens of thousands injured.

ITV News has contacted the Israeli government for a comment.

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