Royal Free staff rally to operate on burned face of tragic dead colleague’s daughter

Assya pictured before her accident

Assya pictured before her accident - Credit: Archant

A ten-year-old girl who suffered severe burns in an explosion that tragically killed her father, sister and brother is to be operated on by a team of her father’s hospital colleagues.

Assya suffered severe burns in the fire which killed her father

Assya suffered severe burns in the fire which killed her father - Credit: Archant

Assya Haimour suffered disfiguring burns when a heater caught fire in the bedroom she shared with her siblings at the family home in March.

Father Musleh, 48. an operating theatre assistant the Hampstead hospital, who was visiting his family at their home in Jordan, pulled his daughter from the burning room.

But he was killed moments later when the heater’s gas bottle exploded as he returned for Assya’s twin, Betoul, and five-year-old brother, Mohamad, who also died.

His wife Fatima, 38, and remaining sons Ibrahim, nine, and Abdullah, three, escaped unharmed

The family before tragedy struck

The family before tragedy struck - Credit: Archant

Now Royal Free staff have launched a fundraising drive for Assya to undergo reconstructive surgery to severe second and third degree burns.

Leading plastic surgeon Professor Peter Butler will give his time for free as the youngster is not eligible for NHS treatment.

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Friends and colleagues have already raised more than £2,000 to repair the family home and fly Assya and her mother over to the UK.

Meanwhile doctors, nurses, physiotherapists, technicians and other theatre staff are donating their free time to provide care and treatment for the 10 year old.

They now aim to raise a further £3,000 to pay for Assya and her mother, who have already arrived in Hampstead, to live here for the remainder of her treatment and to pay for prosthetic hands, face masks and medication.

Surgeon Peter Butler said: “I was shocked by what happened. Musleh was an amazing man and it’s devastating to lose a father.

“I have specialised in facial reconstruction for more than 25 years and I want to help these people; it’s the reason we all get into medicine.”

He added: “She has a hard journey ahead of her. This is a very bad injury. There’s going to be a lot of physiotherapy, occupational therapy and then surgery. It is going to be a long and painful road.”

Ahmad Turab, another operating theatre practitioner who worked with Musleh in Jordan before working with him at the Royal Free Hospital in 2000, said: “The surgery department is a family and we all come together in a situation like this. People are offering not just money, but their time and support. A couple of Musleh’s colleagues, myself included, went over to Jordan to support the family.”

Her overwhelmed mother Fatima, 38, a nurse, praised staff at the Royal Free Hospital, She said: “It has been a great help to us and much more than we expected, you’ve been like a big family to us and you made us fell welcomed and loved.

“Special thanks to Professor Butler for all his kind help. Assya would also like to thank him for the Snickers chocolate bars he gives her every time she meets him.

“We also like to thank the local community and all of Musleh’s friends and colleagues for all their help and support...We are sure that if Musleh were here he would be thankful and touched by all your kindness.”

“Assya is very strong and very wise. She understands everything. She knows that she needs to have patience to get over all of this. She has hope that one day she will be able to play like she could before the accident.”

Visit Assya’s justgiving page: