The young woman whose plight touched the hearts of Falkirk Herald readers has died suddenly.
Farah Javed hoped to finalise her plans to come to the UK for medical help this week, but tragically passed away before the paperwork could be completed.
The 24-year-old niece of a Grangemouth minister was paralysed after a terrorist bombing of her Christian church in Peshawar, Pakistan in 2013.
A campaign to bring her to this country was launched and thousands of pounds raised, but sadly her family revealed that she died on Sunday.
Her uncle, the Rev. Aftab 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, the fund was set up 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, The Falkirk Herald revealed that medical experts at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham had agreed to assess her.
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.”
Colin Hume, Falkirk Herald editor, said: “Although we never met Farah, we cannot fail to have been affected by her plight.
“Tragically, the fund that so many readers contributed to so generously will no longer be needed.
“In the coming weeks discussions will take place to how best to put all the money raised to good use.”
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.”