Lea in need of complex treatment
YOUNG leukaemia patient Lea Joven could be flown from Dubai to Thailand as her parents try to arrange urgent surgery.
The eight-year-old’s family had planned to send her to Europe for complex blood treatment, but have found she can get the same procedure in Thailand for a fraction of the price.
“It would cost Dhs1.2 million in Germany but just Dhs300,000 in Thailand. It’s still a lot of money but it gives us a chance,” said Lea’s mother, Michelle.
The family has already raised Dhs21,000 after 7DAYS revealed last month that the youngster needed the new operation.
It is the second time the public has come to Lea’s aid. Two years ago Lea needed a bone marrow transplant and hundreds of readers donated money to enable her to have the operation in her native Philippines. But she has since developed complications.
Michelle said: “We will continue fundraising even during her treatment. Thank you to all the generous well wishers who contributed so far.
“This is still a long journey for us but we don’t lose our hope.”
Lea is currently undergoing blood platelet transfusion at Dubai Hospital as her body’s ability to carry oxygen in her blood is weakening, which could be fatal.
“On Saturday, her platelet count dropped to 20, which is very low, so the doctors ordered platelet transfusion,” said Michelle.
Lea’s doctor, Abdul Rahman Al Jasmi, a consultant pediatrician and haematologist at Dubai Hospital, said Thailand was an option but that the family needed the money to pay for the procedure.
He said the treatment would see Lea’s blood pumped out of her body. Her white blood cells would be treated with ultraviolet light and then the blood would be pumped back in.
But he warned there was no guarantee it would cure Lea and, if it didn’t work, doctors may have to send her for a lung transplant - “a very serious step”.