Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Dying mum flown home to Iraq to see son

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

An Iraqi woman with terminal cancer has flown 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.

On Saturday Mrs Altai was brought home on a six-hour specialist medical flight from Southampton to Baghdad.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Arij Altai returned home after a six-hour specialist medical flight from Southampton

She was accompanied by a doctor and nurse.

It is understood Mrs Altai may only have weeks to live and her dying wish was to see her son Ali again.

Her husband Ahmed thanked everybody who helped raise £62,020 through a fundraising page set up by her friend Deborah Cornah.

"I'd like to express my deepest thank you to the people of Southampton... and people around the world, the Iraqi people, who supported me and helped me with their prayers, their fund," he said.

"Thank you so much and God bless you. I have no words to say more than thank you."

Image copyright Deborah Cornah
Image caption The flight was made possible by donations through a fundraising page set up by Mrs Altai's friend Deborah Cornah

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