Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Dying mum set to fly home to Iraq to see son

Arij Altai and her son, Ali
Image caption Mrs Altai who is too ill to fly on a passenger plane wants to be reunited with her eight-year-old son in Iraq

An Iraqi woman with terminal cancer is set to fly home to her eight-year-old son after well-wishers raised more than £60,000 for a private medical flight.

Arij Altai, 38, came to Southampton five years ago to study for a PhD in linguistics at Southampton University.

After being diagnosed with terminal cancer, she had to stay behind when her husband and son flew back in September.

Mrs Altai's friend, Deborah Cornah who set up a fundraising page said: "We're overwhelmed, thank you."

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Arij Altai with her son Ali and husband Ahmed

Mrs Altai's dying wish is to see her son Ali again, she said: "I don't want to die now, before I see my son."

It is understood she may only have weeks to live.

Arrangements are now being made for the six-hour specialist medical flight with a doctor and nurse from Southampton to Baghdad.

It is hoped Mrs Altai will fly home in the next few days.

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