'Miracle baby' could face deportation despite GP's concerns

Elizabeth Phiri weighed just 1lb 4oz when she was born. Credit: MEN Media

A "miracle baby" who was saved by the NHS after being born four months early could face deportation to Malawi - despite needing ongoing medical care.

Elizabeth Phiri made headlines around the country after she was born weighing less than a bag of sugar.

She's now a happy toddler attending pre-school in Chadderton, but remains under the care of her GP and two hospitals.

Elizabeth has fragile lungs and is vulnerable to infection. She also needs to have her brain function monitored regularly.

Her mother Agatha fears for her daughter's health if she's taken away from her current medical care.

Agatha says she fled Africa after being sexually abused, and fears facing Female Genital Mutilation if forced to return.

Although she isn't allowed to work, she volunteers for a radio show promoting business and the arts for young people.

Agatha says she's been going through the asylum process for 10 years, surviving on £35 a week, but has now been told that all her appeal rights have been exhausted.

Agatha says she worries about her daughter's health without access to her doctors. Credit: MEN Media

Agatha and Elizabeth's GP are urging the home office to consider the toddler's risk of developing future health problems.

Elizabeth still needs to be monitored by a medical team. Credit: MEN Media

Agatha, who has been in the country since 2009, said: "Sending us to Malawi is a slow death for both of us. Only rich people can afford hospitals."Where will we live? What will we eat? What if she falls sick?

"My daughter already thinks this is her home. She goes to nursery and is doing well. At the moment we are just waiting for either deportation or a miracle to save us.

Elizabeth remains under the care of her GP and two hospitals. Credit: MEN Media

Oldham West and Royton MP Jim McMahon has investigated Agatha's case and has now written to Home Secretary Sajid Javid calling on him to personally intervene.

He said "We should not be throwing vulnerable people who need us back into situations where they will come to harm. I have received letters of support from local community leaders such as faith leaders and school teachers. They have pleaded for a reversal of the decision already given."