Baby Aleeyah’s mother thanks UAE people and Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for support

Baby Aleeyah is doing well and the family have returned home to the Philippines, where the one-year-old will receive weekly check-ups.

Baby Aleeyah is recovering from a liver transplant after a Dh200,000 donation from Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed. I-Hwa Cheng / AP
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DUBAI // The mother of a baby who was given a life-saving liver transplant has thanked people in the UAE and, in particular, Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed for their support.

After months of worry and fear for what would happen to her daughter, Grace Carungay can now see a brighter future for little Aleeyah.

The one-year-old underwent a gruelling liver transplant operation at the specialist Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in Taiwan in June.

That was only made possible after Sheikh Mohammed, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, stepped in to donate more than Dh200,000 for the procedure and other costs.

“I want to thank all the people, organisations, friends, relatives, my family, anonymous donors, Restaurant Secrets of Dubai, Chang Gung Hospital and the UAE Embassy in Manila,” said Mrs Carungay, who had to give up her job as a receptionist in Abu Dhabi to take care of Aleeyah.

“But I want to thank Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan himself, in particular, for the generosity in supporting my daughter Aleeyah’s liver transplant.

“It’s been a challenging time for us and your help in helping us financially and strong prayers for my daughter’s liver transplant has made a huge difference in our lives.

Mrs Carungay, her sister, who was the liver donor for the operation, and Aleeyah returned to the Philippines last month to continue the recovery process.

She will require ongoing medicine and weekly hospital checks in the Philippines, as well as annual checks at the Chang Gung Hospital.

Aleeyah had biliary atresia diagnosed after she became jaundiced at the age of two months.

The disease causes inflammation in the bile ducts, leading to damage that reduces the flow of bile and scars the liver.

Bile carries toxins and waste out of the body and helps to digest fats and absorb vitamins.

Mrs Carungay took the decision to have the operation in Taiwan because it was not possible to schedule one earlier in the Philippines.

After the 15-hour operation in June, Mrs Carungay, her sister and Aleeyah spent three months in Taiwan as doctors monitored her condition before returning home.