BAGHDAD — A woman in northern Iraq’s Kurdistan region says she is in desperate need of money after her child was born severely malformed with severe defects.
Kurdistan Regional Government spokesman Salih Ibrahim told the Associated Press news agency that the woman was living in the southern city of Sulaimani with her husband and two children and had recently returned to her hometown of Sulaiman in the far northeast of the country.
The woman told the AP that she had been pregnant with the couple’s first child when her husband suffered a stroke while on a job and had not been able to work since.
She said the couple had hoped to have another child, but her husband had contracted the disease while in hospital.
When she went to see her doctor, she was told that her child had died.
The hospital told her that it could not afford to treat her for the illness.
The couple said they were not allowed to visit their children, and their son was placed in the care of relatives.
The family said the boy had been born with a rare genetic disorder called trisomy 18, which means the baby has a slightly different type of brain from other babies born with trisomic fetuses.
Trisomy 17 fetuses are more common than normal fetuses, and the condition affects about 1 in 2,000 babies.
Dr. Ali Zaidi, the director of Suliamani’s maternity ward, said that the condition was not rare in Sulaiman.
“We have three cases here,” he said.
“The patient is the third case in Sulaiman, and we have to treat them, but we can’t treat everyone.”
He added that the child would be transferred to a hospital in the Kurdish region to be examined.
Dr Zaidis office in Sulaimon has two other cases of trisomies, but they are not as severe.
“The mother has been able for now to feed her children on her own, and she has had to feed them in the hospital, but that is not enough for the mother,” he told Al Jazeera.
“So now we have another problem.”
He said the hospital had been unable to pay the mother for the treatment.
The mother, who is in her 60s, has been unable for several months to pay her bills and is unable to support the family, he added.
She was initially unable to get work because she was unemployed.
But in the past two months, the hospital has been hiring more and more workers to help care for the sick and injured.
Zaidi said he hoped that people would donate food to the family to help pay for the medical bills.
“If you donate food, we are working to make sure the hospital pays the expenses,” he added, adding that he hoped people would help by sending in food.