MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — An 11-year-old Minneapolis boy is fighting for his life in an East African hospital after he fell sick on vacation with his family.
Zakariya Hassan has been in the hospital for 29 days. Doctors aren’t sure exactly what is ailing him, but the boy’s family is working to bring him back to the Twin Cities for treatment.
A GoFundMe page is aiming to raise $250,000 to evacuate Zakariya from Nairobi, Kenya, and bring him to Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis. Since the page was created over the weekend, it’s raised over $25,000.
Zakariya’s family brought him and his siblings to East Africa when the travel restrictions were lifted earlier this year. The trip marked his first time seeing relatives who lived overseas.
While his family was visiting, Zakariya and two of his five siblings became extremely sick, suffering nausea, loss of muscle control and fatigue. All three children were hospitalized, and relatives say that doctors haven’t been able to figure out what’s causing the illness.
One of the siblings, Zakariya’s older brother, 16-year-old Mohamed, died in the hospital on June 30.
Zakariya, who attended Northrop Elementary school in south Minneapolis, remains hospitalized with breathing tubes. His mother took the rest of the family home to Minnesota while his father has stayed with him.
The family is asking for help to pay for Zakariya’s medical evacuation and for funds to cover his medical expenses. According to his mother, it costs $1,000 a day for Zakariya to stay in the hospital.
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