UK op hope for Gaza heart girl Hala

Gaza girl Hala al Massri is to undergo heart surgery at London's Royal Brompton Hospital (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

Gaza girl Hala al Massri is to undergo heart surgery at London's Royal Brompton Hospital (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

First published in National News © by

There is "hope for Hala" - the three-year-old girl from Gaza who has been flown to the UK for surgery.

Hala al Massri has a "very complex" heart condition and is being stabilised at the Royal Brompton Hospital in west London after an "incredible" three-day journey from her war-torn homeland.

The youngster's family home is believed to have been destroyed by bombs and she had been staying in a UN safe house.

Charity Chain of Hope worked to bring her to the UK, and Emma Scanlan, the charity's chief executive, told Good Morning Britain: "They're stabilising her at the moment, and so far so good.

"We're taking every day at a time. She's being stabilised, as I say, and at least now she has an opportunity. There's a hope for Hala, we're saying at the moment, taking day by day."

Ms Scanlan told the programme about a charity called the Palestinian Children's Relief Fund which works on the ground in Gaza, bringing teams to carry out heart surgery and treat children with other problems.

"At the moment, obviously heart surgery won't be their priority, given what's going on in Gaza. But normally a team could go there and carry out open heart surgery and have high success rates, as well as bringing a child like Hala here."

Ms Scanlan said Hala is suffering from a "very complex" heart condition.

The Sun journalist Sharon Hendry, who was one of the first people to meet Hala when she arrived at Heathrow on Saturday, told the programme that, even though she was very sick, "you could see that she was taking it all in".

She added: "It was an extraordinary scene - this little girl coming through Arrivals, holding on to her mum for dear life, but really soaking up her first taste of the West."

Ms Hendry described Hala's trip to London, and said she became very poorly.

"And then she had this incredible three-day journey out of Gaza, across the border, into Jordan and then on to London. And on the flight to London the doctor that was travelling with her from the Red Cross lost her pulse, so it was touch and go," she said.

Meanwhile, Israel has said a new ceasefire with militant group Hamas is holding in the Gaza Strip, a day after the two sides agreed to resume talks in Cairo.

The military said no rockets have been fired at Israel today and the military has not targeted any locations in the densely populated territory since the ceasefire went into effect at midnight local time.

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