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Last Updated: Sunday, 17 February 2008, 18:37 GMT
Star's support for cancer woman
Ama Sumani
Ama Sumani needs dialysis to prolong her life
A campaign to allow a terminally-ill Ghanaian woman to return to the UK for treatment has received the backing of film producer Trudie Styler.

The wife of rock star Sting is reported to have donated about 10,000 to the appeal in aid of Ama Sumani, 39.

Ms Sumani was sent back to her native country from a Cardiff hospital in January after her visa expired.

Friends set up a fund to help pay her medical expenses in Ghana and so far some 30,000 has been raised.

Her friend Janet Symmons is travelling to Ghana on Monday for a three-week trip to check on the progress of her friend, whom she met four years ago, and to take documents so she can apply to return to Wales.

Ms Sumani, a mother-of-two, needs the hospital treatment to prolong her life but the drug she needs, thalidomide, is not available in Ghana.

Her supporters fear her life may be cut short unless she can return to the UK and earlier this month Mrs Simmons said her condition was deteriorating rapidly.

Immigration officials removed Ms Sumani from the University of Wales Hospital in January.

Trudie Styler and Sting
Trudie Styler has offered to support the campaign for Ama Sumani

She had been undergoing dialysis and was receiving other drugs after being diagnosed with malignant myeloma which damaged her kidneys.

When she returned to Ghana it was feared she would not be able to pay the costs of dialysis, and an anonymous donor from the UK stepped in to pay for three months of treatment.

Mrs Symmons, who is the campaign organiser, confirmed that Ms Styler had pledged her support, but would not say if she had donated money.

The Wales on Sunday newspaper reported that the star is understood to have pledged 10,000.

Mrs Symmons said: "She is in support of us bringing Ama back here to get treatment, but I'm not at liberty to say if she's donated money. I haven't spoken to her myself.

"She heard about the case through the publicity it's had.

"We've had donations from ordinary people from all over the UK, as far away as the Highlands.

"I'm glad that people want to help out because it's getting the message across to politicians. I haven't had any offers of assistance from politicians at all."

Janet Simmons
If we were allowed to bring her back, the doctors here would be able to help as they know exactly what she needs
Janet Symmons

Mrs Symmons, who runs an African goods store in Cardiff, said one family had offered to provide a home for Ms Sumani, and to arrange a funeral if she did not survive.

The family, who are not British, have also said they would look after Ms Sumani's children Mary, 16, and seven-year-old Samede.

Mrs Symmons said: "She's not very good at the moment. The doctors are trying various things but none seem to be working, and some are making her very ill.

"If we were allowed to bring her back, the doctors here would be able to help as they know exactly what she needs."

She said she has received a letter from the Ghanaian High Commission saying it is in talks with the Home Office about the possibility of Ms Sumani returning to the UK.

The decision to remove Ms Sumani was described as "atrocious barbarism" by leading medical journal The Lancet.

The Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams also criticised the way cases like hers were handled.


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