WASHINGTON – The parents of an 18-year-old terminally ill girl at a hospital in Houston, Texas, arrived from Pakistan on Saturday, fulfilling the teenager’s last wish, according to US media reports.
But, one report cited her relatives as stating that Qirat Chapra “unfortunately” fell unconscious hours before their arrival.
“Qirat has been unconscious since last night and needed a ventilator,” Hira Jethwa, a cousin of Qirat’s mother, was quoted as stating.
“She’s not in good condition.”
Ms. Chapra, who suffers from a severe case of combined B and T cell immunodeficiency that has makes her immune system brittle, has not seen her mother in 10 years and her father even longer. Complications of her condition include interstitial lung disease, T-cell lymphoma and chronic pain.
Ms. Chapra was born in San Marcos, Texas, in 1997 when her mother was visiting family in the United States. Her mother travelled back and forth in Chapra’s early years of life but has been unable to come back since her travel visa expired in 2005, and she was not granted another one. Her father was never granted a travel visa, according to the family.
After multiple delays and heavy petitioning of the Obama administration, their visas were recently granted.
“I’m not the type of teenager to ever want to be away from my parents,” Ms. Chapra said a few weeks ago before learning that the visas were granted.
“I’ve been able to survive without them, but I feel like I need my parents more than ever now.” Ms Chapra has been under treatment in the United States for multiple illnesses since she was just four years old. Her parents and two younger brothers live in Pakistan.
Earlier this month, the teen appealed to the public through a video on social media asking people to sign the White House petition urging the US government to allow her parents to visit her.
Her parents have been trying to see their daughter for years but have been repeatedly denied visa applications, and have only been able to speak with Qirat through email and phone calls.
Ms Chapra is in hospice care at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital.
“I’ve been here 13 years and I’ve been in and out of the hospital ever since,” she told ABC News. “I have a lot of family members and relatives here and they’re really great and so supportive, but there’s nothing like your parents.”
Doctors said that Chapra’s time is short, and her aunt, Neelam Ghanchi, said that the teen’s already-fragile immune system is deteriorating.
Ms Ghanchi said that Chapra’s parents visas were denied because the girl has enough family members in the United States to take care of her. ‘I’m taking care of her for a long time,” she said.
Ms Chapra’s parents have been denied travel visas multiple times in recent years, but in a news release issued on Wednesday by the hospital, the family announced that the visas have been granted.
The announcement was made more than two weeks after Chapra’s friends and family began a governmental petition to expedite a B-2 travel visa for the parents
“We are happy to inform you that Qirat’s parents visa application was approved. We are overjoyed by this news, and it could not have come at a more perfect time,” the statement said.
“Qirat’s parents are going to get to come see her again. Qirat has been waiting for this day for over a decade, and it’s the only thing she has wanted since then.”
‘My last wish to see them. I do not want to leave this world without seeing them. It’s been all my life and I don’t know how long I’m gonna stand,’ Chapra told an American television station two weeks ago.
Ms. Chapra said that even if she only had a short time to see her family, it would be worth it.
“I really want to see them – it’s been so long,” Ms. Chapra said.
“I’ve been very sick and in very serious condition. The doctors don’t know how long I’m going to be well enough. Even for five or 10 minutes, I would appreciate it,” she said.
NEO Web Desk