HOUSTON – Nine-year-old Maira Junaid has cystic fibrosis. It's a devastating disease that has taken a toll on her lungs.
While growing up in Pakistan, Maira Junaid’s lung collapsed and media outlets there helped raise money for her to move to the United States and get specialized treatment at Texas Children's Hospital.
“It’s a big effort, I’m thinking of what I achieved from last year to this year. It's a big journey,” said her father, Junaid Iqbal.
The journey includes many days with his only child in the hospital, but now, they say the situation is getting dire.
Doctors say a double-lung transplant is critical to her survival.
But getting on the list for a transplant requires a long list of criteria to qualify. Monetary aspect is only one part.
The family's initial bill totaled $1.8 million, but with the hospital's help, the cost declined.
Now, Maira's family is looking to raise $650,000.
Texas Children's says no matter a family's ability to pay, they will treat a child, but this family is still in over their heads with costs: hospital stays, operations, and a lifetime of follow-up care and medications.
Iqbal says his daughter deserves this fighting chance.
“She's a miracle girl because previously they told us she had three months left, two months left, now it's more than one year. I know when they saw her they said she was too sick, but when she wakes up, she doesn't look like a sick girl. So that's why they are very positive, if she gets the transplant, she has a long life in the future,” Iqbal said.
To learn more about Maira’s story click here.
To donate to her family, click here.