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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 March 2006, 10:40 GMT
Kenyan boy in treatment bid dies
Photo of Freddie
Freddie was born severely disabled but the cause is not known
A disabled Kenyan boy whose parents campaigned to have him treated in the UK has died, a charity has said.

One-year-old Freddie Musena-Mtile, born without arms or legs, died in his home town of Malindi from a fungal infection, Thalidomide UK said.

His adoptive English mother and Kenyan father had campaigned with the charity to get a UK visa for Freddie.

He was eventually granted one and had been receiving treatment at Queen Mary's Hospital, London.

His funeral was held on Wednesday, a day after he died in his mother's arms.

His parents, Dee and Sammy Knott-Mtile, run a health and education project in Malindi, north of Kenya's second city, Mombasa.

Medical treatment

About 300 people attended the funeral, Thalidomide UK spokesman Freddie Astbury said.

Freddie's disabilities were suspected of being caused as a result of his natural mother taking Thalidomide, widely available in African countries.

The drug is used in the treatment of leprosy and AIDS in developing countries.

Thalidomide was prescribed to pregnant women in the UK in the late 50s and early 60s and led to a number of children being born with deformed limbs and other impairments.

After exhausting the medical possibilities in Kenya, Freddie's family appealed to UK-based organisations for help.

His began treatment in London in July 2005, and was due to return to Queen Mary's hospital in June 2006 to have artificial limbs fitted, the charity said.


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