Aarifa Karim: Child prodigy refuses to give up, shows improvement

Published: January 14, 2012
Father says family looking to move her to the US for better treatment.

Father says family looking to move her to the US for better treatment.

LAHORE: As Pakistan’s youngest Microsoft Certified Professional Aarifa Karim Randhawa begins showing signs of improvement, her parents admit they are looking for assistance to move her to the US for better treatment.

Aarifa’s father Amjad Karim Randhawa, a retired lieutenant colonel, told The Express Tribune that the 16-year-old who has been battling for her life at the Combined Military Hospital (CMH) in Lahore recently responded to certain stimuli. Aarifa, he said, had shown the Plantar Reflex when her foot was stimulated. “Her toes curved slightly downward when her foot was tickled,” he said, adding that earlier she had exhibited the Corneal Reflex, whereby her eyes blinked a few times.

Randhawa said that over the past four days, they had observed minor improvements in Aarifa’s condition but until medically endorsed, they could not be registered as a major improvement. However, he added, the doctors have implied that the signs are encouraging.

But Aarifa’s fight for life is still in its preliminary stages and her parents are now looking to move her to a better-equipped intensive care unit in the US.

“We need to ensure that Aarifa does not contract some kind of infection. Doctors at CMH are tending to minor infections that she contracted recently, but the odds of developing them again are great,” Randhawa explained. “We do not want to let the progress she’s made go to waste. We want to be careful.”

When asked if doctors at the CMH had approved of moving her to another medical facility, Randhawa said that they would if there were a possibility of improved care elsewhere. “At the moment, we are only seeking a facility where intensive care will be better equipped to cater to her needs.”

Published in The Express Tribune, January 14th, 2012. 

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Reader Comments (29)

  • A Ali
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:11PM

    Yah Allah Qaum Ki Duaen Qabool Farmaa Aur Arfa Ko Sehat Ataa Farma, Ameen


  • Truth Teller
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:20PM

    Bill Gates is an angel for all Pakistanis!


  • bhai
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:20PM

    thanks to Allah!


  • xzy
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:24PM

    Thanks to the DOCTORS first and THEN Allah!
    As goes the Hadith:
    ” Tie your camel first and then place your trust in Allah”–Tirmizi


  • Jan 13, 2012 - 7:38PM

    May Allah Shower HIS blessings on her and InshaAllah She will be Ok……..
    Arfa is my teacher’s Student


  • Indian
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:39PM

    Get well soon dear.


  • zahid iqbal
    Jan 13, 2012 - 7:47PM

    our leaders,wealthy and not well wisher of genius people.Allah arfa ko sehat atta farmay


  • Mubashir
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:00PM



    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:01PM

    ya Allah tu hamari nanni Arfa ko phir se sehat mand banade aameen
    zahid qazi


  • Adil Mulki
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:09PM

    This Kid is so symbolic for all of Pakistan.
    I do hope she gets better. Unfortunately, we do not have many good examples to look upto in Pakistan, but she really is one of the few that exist.
    May the Almighty make her well.


  • Salman
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:42PM

    I remember few days back some ignorant posters and so called ‘Pakistani Doctors’ here saying that her issue has been politicized and she is a lost case and life support systems should be removed for good.

    May she gets well soon!


  • Ali Tahir
    Jan 13, 2012 - 8:43PM

    May Allah recover her soon…My prayers are with you


  • Doctor
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:31PM

    It’s an old saying, half knowledge is curse. Tell me what you know about planter n corneal reflex???
    Tell me one more thing,what is Ischemic brain damage???Google my second question because this is what Aarifa has suffered. Also read the prognosis(chances). Just don’t poke your nose in matters 4 which you have least knowledge.


  • Sachal Sarmast
    Jan 13, 2012 - 10:42PM

    My daughter, I know you will get well soon.


  • Shahid
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:24PM

    We are all praying for her.


  • Muneeb
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:27PM

    Inshallah, she will get well soon.
    I don’t know when our leaders will start respecting the talent, there is always a ready air ambulance to the President Zardari or even for late Pir Pagara……But there are so many hurdles for those to actually did something for Pakistan…Shame on this government… Recommend

  • Muneeb
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:40PM

    Not only government what the media is doing for Arfa? All the TC channels gives breaking news when there is treatment underway of a known politician or if someone is treated based on the financial help by a governors, you remember that voice “xyz channel ke khaber per governor sindh the notice le liya”. Are there any breaking news or notable TV coverage for Arfa? NO.


  • Sachal Sarmast
    Jan 13, 2012 - 11:47PM

    @ doctor
    Please, do not be that rude. Reflexes could be spinal ones and could be directly due to brain activity as is corneal one, yet no reflex could be evoked without some central nervous system support. Normally, in absence of oxygen supply, brain dies within 3-4 minutes. But you never know, and age is important factor. More importantly, in medical science it is the trend that is great indicator. Here, initially there was no activity of the brain and apparently it died, however, EEG evidence and these reflexes do tell different story. So let us pray for her and do not indulge in negative argument.


  • Salman
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:27AM

    @ doctor

    I am an engineer by profession and not hopeless person like you.


  • BS.Detecter
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:31AM

    may Allah bless her with health. Ameen


  • ali baba
    Jan 14, 2012 - 9:29AM

    thank god


  • Hawkins
    Jan 14, 2012 - 9:48AM



  • ali baba
    Jan 14, 2012 - 9:51AM

    she and malala yousafzai are the real daughters of pak.i recommend country,s top universities be named after arfa kareem and malala yousufzai,s namesRecommend

  • Andrew
    Jan 14, 2012 - 11:46AM

    At times I am inclined to Think why DOCTORS in our country often think that they have all the knowlege. There are hundreds of people dying everyday due Use of Anti Bio-tics prescribed by Knowlegefull doctors Always without a Clinical finding.


  • zainab
    Jan 14, 2012 - 3:45PM

    take care of urself


  • K. Salim Jahangir
    Jan 14, 2012 - 11:25PM

    I have a gut feeling that Arifa,by the Grace of Almighty Allah will pull through !!!!!!!!!!!


  • sufyan ghumman
    Jan 15, 2012 - 10:06AM

    may ALLAH give us place in jannah and we r proud to u arifa kareem


  • sufyan ghumman
    Jan 15, 2012 - 10:10AM

    may ALLAH give us place in jannah and we r proud to u arifa kareemRecommend

  • Jean in Montgomery, Alabama, USA
    Jan 15, 2012 - 11:52PM

    I am SO happy to see this news! By just little steps we can climb mountains.


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