The U.S. Embassy in Islamabad has issued a last minute-visa to an ailing 6-year-old Pakistani girl desperately in need of surgery in the United States.

Shahid Ullah, the father of Maria, says that the family is "so happy" at the news and thanked friends and supporters world over who helped them.

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Ullah, a poor merchant who owns a shop selling blankets in Rawalpindi, near the capital of Islamabad, has campaigned for nearly four years seeking treatment for Maria, who suffers from a genetic disorder known as Morquio Syndrome in which the vertebrae compress the spinal cord.

The embassy said on Tuesday the visas were approved.

Ullah says he and his wife will accompany Maria to a children's hospital in Wilmington, Delaware, that has agreed to do the procedure for free.