Thursday, April 17, 2008

Expelled Ghanaian Woman Dies

Ama Sumani needed dialysis to prolong her life. A Ghanaian woman who was removed from a Cardiff hospital where she was receiving cancer treatment and flown home after her visa expired has died.

Sumani, 39, passed​ away in Accra, Ghana, hours after being tod that friends and family had found doctors in the UK and South Africa to treat her.

y had also raised more than £70,000 from donations to pay for drugs which were not available in her home country.

friend Janet Simmons said: "She said she was too tired to fight.

Ms Sum
ani, a widowed mother-of-two, died at about 1600 GMT on Wednesday in Korle-Bu hospital in Accra, said Mrs Simmons.

had been receiving kidney dialysis and treatment there after immigration officials removed Ms Sumani from the University Hospital of Wales in January

But the drug she needed to prolong her life - thalidomide - is not available
in Ghana.

Janet Simmons, from Cardiff, whoreturned from spending a month in Ghana on Sunday, said they had just found a doctor in South Africa and another in the UK who would treat terminally-ill Ms Sumani with the drugs​,

"We told her this morning but this afternoon she gave up," she said.

A campaign to allow Ms Sumani to return to the UK for treatment and to raise funds to help her had been backed by people across the country.

"The British people kept her alive all this time and we would like to thank the
m for their donations," said Mrs Simmons.

She added:
"I last saw her on Saturday morning before I left Ghana. She was not 100%. She asked me 'are you taking me with you?' and I had to say no.

BBCs Will Ross in Accra said Ms Sumani's life had been precarious, and that the decision to send her home was controversial.

“Despite facing great challenges in Ghana as her health deteriorated
, she remained cheerful and hoped the British government would reverse its decision”, he added.

ymous Donor

Ms Sumani had been undergoing dialysis and was receiving other drugs at the University Hospital of Wales after being diagnosed with malignant myeloma which damaged her kidneys.

She came to the UK five years ago to become a student, but began working in contravention of her visa regulations.

When she returned to Ghana it was feared she would not be able to pay the costs of dialysis,
and an anonymous donor from the UK stepped in to pay for three months of treatment.

Previously, Mrs Simmon
s had said a family had offered to look after Ms Sumani's children Mary, 16, and seven-year-old Samede.

The decision to remove Ms Sumani
was described as "atrocious barbarism" by leading medical journal The Lancet.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams also criticised the way cases like hers were handle


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