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Emergency treatment for brain-injured son means asylum-seeking Pak-Christian family must pay insurmountable fees


Young Pak-Christian asylum-seeker Soham Babar (11 yrs) is fighting for his life in a Thai hospital after the long term effects of an untreated traumatic brain injury resulted in continued seizures requiring emergency medical attention.

Video of Soham during happier times.

Soham incurred head trauma at the age of 4 in a freak train accident that left him with intellectual and neurological difficulties. He seemed to improve enough to finally be enrolled in school where he became the subject of vicious bullying. One day during an episode of teasing by a Muslim classmate he became frustrated and mishandled a primer that unbeknownst to him had a Quranic verse in it.  This incident lead to he and other children in his family being beaten. Later his parents were assaulted at their home which eventually lead to his family's departure from Pakistan to Bangkok.

While his family came to Thailand for safety, it was impossible to afford continued treatment due to the Thai Government refusing to accept the status of asylum seekers, a choice they can make through not having ratified international conventions for asylum. Last year Soham's sight became impaired and he seemed to have lost his hearing as he became unresponsive to stimuli - these were believed likely related complications.

Last week he started to become ill with severe epileptic seizures and his desperate parents brought him into the hospital because his limbs were turning in the wrong direction and he was shaking violently and shivering as if he was cold.

Soham's heartbroken parents, Babar Ishaq and Robina Babar brought him to a private hospital to get treatment as they are not allowed access to government hospitals, but the doctor has advised that his treatment will cost 4000 Baht a night (which is approximately £76.80). His anticipated monthly fee for medication when discharged is 2500 Baht.

They will need to pay this expense no matter what happens to their son and this is a very precarious legal situation for them. The young boy is currently is in ICU and is unconscious and in no condition to be removed from treatment so his parents have appealed to BPCA for assistance with this medical bill which will grow if he is required to stay another night.

If you would like to help this family with the hospital bill please (click here) to give to this emergency appeal an mark it LOVE for SOHAM.

Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

"Once again we find a family of Pakistani Christians caught up in the intolerance of the Thai people who refuse to accept genuine asylum seekers. 

"Sadly for this family the Thai authorities ruling denying medical treatment for asylum seekers means they have to beg, scrape and borrow to save the life of a brain-injured child.  

"The parents love for their child despite Soham's injuries that have placed so many restrictions on his life is a testament to their faith and belief that God's creation is precious. This same life and many others are deemed worthless by many who simply cannot understand how it pains God to see people suffering.

"God calls his believers to be helpers of the needy, a quick read of Matthew 25:40 sets this out quite plainly: “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’  

"We at the BPCA pray that many of you will answer his call and help give respite to suffering young Soham and his family."

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