Wounded in Serb attack, paralyzed Bosniak Child Irma Hadzimuratovic Dies
A five-year-old Bosniak girl who was severely injured in the fighting in Bosnia has been flown to Britain for treatment. Irma Hadzimuratovic whose suffering has come to symbolise the agony of the Bosnian Genocide was rescued from Sarajevo and taken to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children in London, UK.
She was seriously injured by a Serbian mortar bomb in Sarajevo which killed her mother and 14 others in a market square in Bosnia’s capital, Sarajevo. She was close to death before the British Government arranged to fly her to the UK. The RAF flew her out of Sarajevo with her father, Ramis, and three-year old sister.
She underwent a total of 12 operations but remained paralyzed from the neck down and was unable to breathe unaided.
In April 1995 she died of septicaemia. At the inquest a coroner said Irma was a victim of war.
11 August 1993.
LONDON (AP) — Irma Hadzimuratovic’s condition has worsened considerably and the 5-year-old girl evacuated from Sarajevo is unconscious and receiving heart medication, one of her doctors said today.
Irma suffered injuries to her back and abdomen in a July 30 (1993) mortar attack that killed her mother. Because of her wounds, she contracted severe meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, that has caused her turn for the worse, Dr. Jeremy Booth of the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital told Sky TV.
Irma was flown to London on Monday after an international appeal for help from Edo Jaganjac, her doctor in the besieged Bosnian capital. Jaganjac said she would die unless she received proper medical care and blamed the United Nations and red tape for delaying her evacuation.
Irma’s father, Ramiz, left her bedside today to urge the world to save Sarajevo.
“If it is not stopped, the killing will be more and more,” he told a brief news conference, speaking through an interpreter.
Bosnian Girl Whose Wounds Touched World Dies in London
2 April 1995.
LONDON (AP) — A Bosnian girl who helped give a human face to the war in Bosnia died yesterday, two years after being seriously injured by a Serbian shell that also killed her mother.
Irma Hadzimuratovic was 7.
Doctors said she died peacefully in her sleep at Great Ormond Street hospital after developing a blood infection.
Irma, then 5, was wounded on July 30, 1993, in Sarajevo by shrapnel from Serbian shelling that pierced her spine and abdomen. The shelling killed her mother and left Irma paralyzed from the neck down.
She was brought to Britain on Aug. 9, 1993, after her doctor in Sarajevo, frustrated by what he called excessive U.N. red tape, turned to the media, which flashed pictures of the suffering child around the globe.
Her plight stirred international sympathy and Western governments launched “Operation Irma,” airlifting out hundreds of Bosnia’s war wounded for treatment.
Irma battled successfully against bacterial meningitis, brought on by her severe wounds, but remained on a ventilator to help her breathing.
She recently suffered complications that prevented her from eating and had to be fed intravenously.
Irma, who was accompanied to London by her father Ramiz and younger sister Medina, learned English at the hospital school and made several visits to the countryside in a specially adapted wheelchair.
“Irma was a warm and affectionate child who won the hearts of everyone,” said Dr. Quen Mok, who treated her. “Her courage in dealing with her injuries was an inspiration to us all.”