4-year-old Fatemah is suffering from a life-threatening heart condition. The baby was scheduled for open heart surgery but is now unable to enter the country because of Trump administration’s immigration executive order that went into effect last Friday, January 27th.
According to her uncle, Sam Taghizadeh, who also funded Fatimah’s family trip to the U.S., the baby needs surgery as soon as possible. Her parents say that they decided to seek the help of American doctors at the Oregon Health and Science University as they had concerns in relation to the medical services Iranian health experts could provide.
“Over there, it’s a very high risk because it’s open heart surgery”, says her uncle.
Apart from beneficiating from improved medical care, the family would also have been closer to other members who already live in Oregon. The baby girl’s surgery was set for February 5th before the immigration executive order halted the family’s efforts to save Fatimah’s life.
According to the parents, they had been filing papers for the tourist visa for three weeks before boarding a plane that would take them from Dubai to the United States. It was not until Saturday when the family landed in Dubai that they heard about the immigration executive order that went into full effect only one day before.
Sam Taghizadeh expressed his discontent with the situation, as everything was prepared for the little girl to enter the country and finally receive the life-saving surgery. He added Fatemah’s parents do not know what to do next. At first, he said, they were considering to postpone the surgery for another two years. However, Fatimah’s doctors warned them about their baby girl’s critical condition and said the surgery must be done as soon as possible.
Sam Taghizadeh has been living in the United States for the past 13 years. In the light of the recent events, he said he is now worried both for his niece’s life as well as for his own future in the U.S. tearing up he said he moved to the U.S. in search of a better life and freedom. However, he now feels as if nowhere is safe any longer. For the time being, Fatimah and her family returned to Iran.
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