Turkey: Libyan child beats tumor with love for learning

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ISTANBUL 

An eight-year-old Libyan girl with an aggressive and malignant tumor learned to read and write while being treated at a hospital in Istanbul.

In a statement, the Medipol Mega University Hospital said that Roubine Malick Hadi Ageli, who suffered from neuroblastoma, lost her ability to walk along with many other health problems caused by the disease.

When her family could not find a cure for their daughter in Libya, they started to search for treatment abroad and decided to come to Turkey after learning about the hospital’s treatment methods.

Ageli both recovered and learned to read and write at the Medipol Mega University Hospital, where she came for the treatment of an aggressive cancer disease that spread in her bone marrow and bones.

With her positive energy and passion for learning, she also put a smile on the faces of doctors, who used multidisciplinary treatment method.

Murat Elli, a professor at the hospital’s pediatric hematology and oncology unit who planned Ageli’s treatment, told Anadolu Agency about the process and said when Ageli first came she was suffering from common back pain and gait disturbance.

“Although Roubine was diagnosed after a very long time due to the conditions in Libya, the treatment process could not be started.

“When she came to the Medipol, the patient’s tumor was pressuring her spinal cord,” Elli said, adding that the situation restricted her movement down the waist and caused urinary incontinence.

Noting that it is a common disease, he said after the diagnosis of neuroblastoma, Ageli started to receive chemotherapy first.

“By working in a multidisciplinary manner, in order to reduce the pressure on the spinal cord, neurosurgery ensured removal of the compressive parts of the tumor as it could not be removed completely,” Elli said.

“There was a long period of chemotherapy and physical therapy.”

High spirits

Elli said that they received good results thanks to the equipment at the hospital, efforts of Ageli’s family, physical therapy as well as other treatment methods.

Stressing that Ageli’s high spirits enabled her to pass through the process relatively easily, Elli said: “Roubine is a wonderful child with full of energy, talent for imitation and singing.

“But what impressed the whole hospital was that she was filled with the love of reading and writing in her room while she was receiving treatment.”

Elli said she can now move her legs and walk with the help of apparatus, and added that Ageli is in remission period, that is disease-free, but her treatment continues.

“With her determination to live, her passion for reading and painting, Roubine became a beacon of hope for all of us in our fight against the most dangerous tumor,” he said, noting that she has been under treatment for over six months.

Elli said they are hopeful to send her back home in good health.

Her father, Malick Ageli, said that they spent two months to be able to learn about the disease and its treatment in Libya.

“We were directed to a doctor in Turkey as a multidisciplinary treatment of oncology and hematology was needed,” he said.

Stating that her disease started with pains, it first affected her daughter’s right leg, then left leg and later spread to the upper areas of her body.

He said that Ageli’s teacher realized her disease and advised them to get her treated.

“Roubine is now 8 years old, much better than before. We’re glad that she got treated in Turkey,” he said.

*Writing by Sena Guler

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