Baby put on US travel ban gets green light for life-saving surgery

There are fears Fatemeh Reshad could die without treatment

Baby put on US travel ban gets green light for life-saving surgery

Image: Samad Taghizadeh

A four-month-old baby from Iran, stopped from entering the US for life-saving heart surgery under Donald Trump's travel ban, is to be allowed in for the urgent operation.

The granting of permission for Fatemeh Reshad and her family to travel to America for the emergency procedure was welcomed by New York governor Andrew Cuomo, who had branded the ban as "repugnant".

An appointment the family had in Dubai to get a tourist visa was cancelled earlier this week after the US president's executive order temporarily banning travel from seven mainly-Muslim countries, including Iran.

Fatemeh's uncle, Samad Taghizadeh, said his niece's parents had been told by Iranian doctors that she could die if she did not have at least one urgent operation to correct serious heart defects.

Mr Taghizadeh, a US citizen who lives in Portland, Oregon, added she might need several procedures.

"She's in an emergency situation and if it takes a long time, they're going to lose her," he said.

The go-ahead to travel now paves the way for Fatemeh to undergo emergency treatment in Portland, Orgeon, close to her uncle and grandparents.

A lawyer in Portland who has been helping with the case, Jennifer Morrissey, said doctors in Iran had sent an echocardiogram and other records, which showed Fatemeh had two holes in her heart.

She is expected to arrive next week.

Mr Cuomo, a Democrat, was deeply critical of the "misguided" immigration policy that initially prevented Fatemeh from travelling.

He said: "Bizarrely, the federal ban would prevent this child from receiving medical care and literally endanger her life.

"It is repugnant to all we believe as Americans and as members of the human family.

"We were pleased to learn that the federal government has now granted Fatemeh Reshad and her family boarding documents to come to the United States.

"We will continue to work with the International Refugee Assistance Project and their partners to ensure this baby receives the treatment she needs, and fight for those being unfairly shut out of America's gates by this policy."

It comes as US President Trump hit out at federal Judge James Robart, who ruled against his controversial travel ban - calling him a "so-called judge".