DAYTON, Ohio – A 14-month-old Iraqi girl who received free treatment in the United States for a possibly fatal growth in her neck began the trip home Tuesday, about six months after her parents brought her to a U.S. military base in her homeland.
Fatemah Hassan (search) and her mother took off from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base on a cargo plane. Maj. Ted Theopolis, spokesman for the 445th Airlift Wing, said the child would be flown to Ramstein Air Base (search) in Germany before returning to Iraq.
Fatemah was diagnosed with a large hemangioma (search), a dense group of blood vessels that grows abnormally large, sometimes so large that it can restrict an airway. When her parents brought her to the gates of the U.S. base in Iraq in April, Fatemah was blue from lack of oxygen.
Lawmakers helped arrange for the child to receive free medical care and travel to the United States. She was treated at Columbus Children's Hospital with high doses of steroids.