THE NIECE of a Scottish church minister, who was paralysed after a terrorist bomb blast in Pakistan, has died just days before finalising her plans to come to the UK for vital medical help.
Farah Javed, the 24 year-old niece of Rev. Aftab Gohar, who is minister at Abbotsgrange Church in Grangemouth, died suddenly on Sunday Jan 11 and has left her family “devastated.”
The trained beautician was left paralysed from the waist down after a terrorist bombing at All Saints’ Church in Peshawar, Pakistan, on September 22, 2013.
Two Islamist suicide bombers targeted the church during Sunday morning service and 127 were killed with hundreds more, including Farah, who were injured.
Her uncle, Mr Gohar, lost his 79 year-old mother, 11 year-old nephew and, nine year-old niece and several uncles, cousins and friends in the attack.
Now 16 months later his niece is the latest casualty - after he successfully raised enough money to bring her to the UK to receive the medical help she needed, and was just a day away from signing the paperwork.
Mr Gohar said: “We are all devastated.
“She had been struggling for the last few months, but we hadn’t been expecting this.
“Everyone was looking forward to her coming here and she had been due to complete the paperwork on Monday, but sadly didn’t get an opportunity to do it.”
Originally, Mr Gohar set up the fund to bring her to Scotland for treatment to help her walk again.
However, after her case was assessed doctors said nothing could be done.
But last September, it was revealed that medical experts at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham had agreed to assess her.
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Work was underway to deal with all the necessary red tape to allow Farah and her mother, Robina Shaheen, to come to the UK.
People from all walks of life donated to the fund, and a substantial sum came from a fundraising dinner organised by Grangemouth 1333 (Spitfire) Squadron Air Cadets, who have the Rev. Gohar as padre.
He added: “I want to thank all those people who, since the atrocity, have been sending donations and praying for Farah.
“We are all devastated at her loss.”
Falkirk East MSP Angus MacDonald was involved in the efforts to bring her to this country.
Following news of her death, he said: “My thoughts are with Aftab and Farah’s family members at this devastating time, who will be full of sorrow and grief following this further tragedy.
“I am sure everyone in Falkirk district wishes to convey their heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the family.”
Tom McMorrow of the air cadets was the prime mover in cutting through the red tape to bring Farah to the UK.
This week, he said: “The project came so close and I just hope that she felt comforted by the generosity of so many local people who tried to help her.
“I’ll never be so moved by the memory of somebody I never met.”
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