SHARJAH // Six-year-olds Lama and Lamis are not just twins, they are also best friends.
Until two months ago, the Egyptian girls happily went to school together, played together and ate together.
Then their worlds changed when Lama was found to have a malignant tumour on her spinal cord that, unless removed immediately, would lead to paralysis.
The once playful and energetic girl is now in excruciating pain and unable to leave her hospital bed – and her twin barely speaks to anyone and is refusing to go to school.
Their ordeal began on February 16 when the school nurse called their parents because Lama had fallen in the bathroom and was obviously in agony.
“We rushed her to the hospital and she was screaming in pain the whole time,” said their mother, Doaa Abd El Aziz, who lives in Sharjah.
Tests showed a rare type of tumour in Lama’s lower back.
“We were all in shock and I even doubted the diagnosis,” said the girls’ mother. “I didn’t even know that there were tumours that affect the spinal cord.”
The tumour was so aggressive it had hollowed out the section it affected, making movement very difficult.
“It’s so hard for me to watch her like this,” Ms Abd El Eziz said. “She used to love riding her bike and always wanted to play out in the garden. Now she is on a large amount of painkillers.”
The tumour needs to be removed, and soon, but doctors said they do not have the technology here to do it.
The family was told it would cost about Dh63,000 to take Lama abroad to carry out the operation, money the family does not have.
“Doctors said the operation is vital to not only prevent paralysis but for Lama to stop taking the large amount of painkillers she is on,” her mother said.
“The painkillers have ruined her kidneys but without them she can’t even take a breath without pain.”
Lama has been confined to Khalifa Hospital in Ajman for more than two months. She cannot even go home for a day because movement would cause further damage to her body.
Ms Abd El Eziz said she barely recognises her daughter any more. “Her body is all bloated from the cortisone,” she said.
“To see her like this now, in her bed, unable to move, all swollen and in so much pain is so hard on all of us. This is so unlike the Lama that we know.
“Everyone used to tell me how beautiful Lama was. I’m not saying that because she’s my daughter – really. She is a beautiful, cheerful, and happy girl.”
Without an immediate operation, Lama will become paralysed, said Hisham Al Zahrani, manager of Zakat and Social Services at Dar Al Ber.
“We are asking for donations to help send Lama abroad for treatment,” he said.
Source: uae news