Egyptian parents of severely burned NY girl plead with feds to allow visit - Metro US

Egyptian parents of severely burned NY girl plead with feds to allow visit

Mark Harkin/Creative Commons

The Egyptian parents of a New York-born girl severely burned in a kitchengas explosion are pleading with the feds to allow them to visit her while she undergoes treatment, the New York Daily News reported.

When he could not find appropriate medical help in Egypt, Ibrahim Abdelhalim, 47, resorted to putting his critically burned daughter on an EgyptAir flight to New York where she could be helped. But because of previous visa violations, the parents have been unable to accompany their daughter while she undergoes painful and grueling skin grafting surgeries in the burn unit at Nassau University Medical Center.

The 16-year-old girl, Aiyah, who has burns on 45 percent of her body and who was screaming in pain during her flight “has suffered great psychological trauma,” wrote her attending physician Dr. Louis Riiina in a letter to immigration officials.

“It would be in her best interest if her parents can be here with her as soon as feasible. It would greatly facilitate her care and would be an immense psychological boost for her,” the doctor said.

The parents were barred from the U.S. for a decade after having overstayed their visas.

After recent interviews at the U.S. Embassy in Egypt they were denied emergency visas. And the application for humanitarian parole may take another four months to obtain.

“I understand we—me and her mom—broke the immigration law, but they (are) not punishing us, they (are) punishing an underage American child who’s already suffering and in great pain,” he told the Daily News.

“All the doors I knocked turn out to be locked,” Abdelhalim lamented.

Aiyah’s aunt and uncle have been by her bedside since her arrival in New York, yet they have three children and the situation has caused them much hardship, he said.

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