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  1. ITV Report

Tafida's mother seeking Italian citizenship for daughter

The mother of severely disabled youngster Tafida Raqeeb, who was transferred from a UK hospital to Italy for continued life-support treatment, has said she is seeking Italian citizenship for her daughter.

A High Court judge ruled earlier this month that the five-year-old girl could be moved from the Royal London Hospital to the Gaslini children's hospital in Genoa.

She was taken by chartered plane to Italy on Tuesday, and her parents appeared beside the hospital's director at a press conference on Wednesday morning.

Shelina Begum thanked the hospital for "believing in my daughter's recovery" and said the transfer was "extremely smooth".

I visited Tafida this morning, she is stable, she was awake, fully awake, turning her head from side to side. I told her that mummy and daddy are here and the whole family are coming. I just believe that since Tafida is in Italy it will be wise for her to have Italian citizenship.

– Shelina Begum
Shelina Begum looks on as her daughter Tafida Raqeeb, 5, is carried into an ambulance at Genoa airport

She said the family are crowdfunding for Tafida's treatment but the money "should not run out".

"We do have financial sponsors in place. Should we not be able to raise the funds then the financial sponsors will come in and pay for the treatment."

She said she did not want to disclose how much the hospital is charging.

Tafida's mother and her father, Mohammed Raqeeb, of Newham, east London, had said life-support treatment should continue and they should be allowed to move their daughter to a hospital of their choice. Bosses at the Royal London Hospital disagreed.

Specialists at the hospital said further treatment would be futile because the youngster had permanent brain damage, was in a minimally conscious state and had no chance of recovery.

Judges ruled in favour of Tafida's parents after analysing evidence at a High Court trial in London. They said they thought she had a "quality of life".