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Iraqi baby in U.S. for emergency treatment

/ Source: The Associated Press

An 8-month-old Iraqi girl with a possibly fatal growth in her neck arrived in the United States for free treatment, weeks after her parents brought her to a U.S. military base in her homeland.

Doctors were examining Fatemah Hassan on Thursday to confirm a diagnosis and decide on treatment, said Pam Barber, spokeswoman for Children’s Hospital in Columbus.

Army doctors believed the baby has a cavernous hemangioma, an abnormally dense group of blood vessels that in her case has become so large that it could restrict her breathing.

One doctor, Lt. Col. Todd Fredricks of Ohio, contacted Children’s Hospital in Columbus, which decided it would treat Fatemah at no cost if she could get there.

Rep. Ted Strickland, D-Ohio, and Sen. Jay Rockefeller , D-W.Va., helped with visas for the infant and her 21-year-old mother, Beyda’a Amir Abdul Jabar. The 445th Airlift Wing at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base arranged travel to Columbus.

Testing could go into Friday, Barber said. “You have to see how the baby tolerates each test before you move on,” she said.

During the treatment, a Kurdish family will host the pair, who are part of Iraq’s Kurdish ethnic minority.