Peterborough Apprentice candidate's birth plea after daughter's challenging arrival

She is bossing the boardroom on TVs The Apprentice but now Khadija Khalifa is putting her heart into raising funds for vital new equipment at Peterborough City Hospital - after she had a scare when she gave birth to her daughter.

Tuesday, 16th October 2018, 11:57 am
Updated Tuesday, 16th October 2018, 1:00 pm
Khadija and Sorayah

Mum of two Khadija, from Peterborough, is aiming to raise £5,000 for Peterborough City Hospital, University College London Hospital (UCLH) and charity Sparks after her daughter Sorayah was born with the umbilical cord wrapped round her neck after spending too long in the birth canal four years ago.

Thankfully Sorayah was able to receive treatment and has made a full recovery - but Khadija said friends of hers who had been through the same ordeal were not so lucky, with children suffering brain injuries as a result.

She said; “Sorayah was born at Barnet hospital with the umbilical cord around her neck, causing her brain to be starved of oxygen and being born with zero brain waves. Sorayah was quickly rushed to UCLH to received brain cooling treatment over a three day period. Luckily for us they were also conducted some research and asked if Sorayah could receive Xenon Gas alongside the brain cooling to monitor if the gas would make an impact in preventing disability, brain damage or possibly even death.

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“Lucky for us Sorayah hit all of her milestones within the first two years of her life, whilst still being part of the trial and monitored closely. Sorayah is a healthy four year old, clever, mobile, funny and strong minded. This is not the case for all babies born this way, we were very lucky, but also blessed to have received these treatments.”

Khadija has now set a target of raising £5,000 - and had raised £1,000 in just 24 hours.

She said: “The xenon gas alone costs £100,000 a canister to use.

“I think there needs to be more awareness of the problem. It can be avoided with an incision or quicker action, but so often people are just told to keep pushing.


“In Peterborough, my friend had to be transferred to Coventry for treatment, I want to do something to help people in my home town.

“I will always be grateful for the support from UCLH, so I want to help them, and Sparks to such a great job with research.

“I never thought I’d be able to raise money like this - and it is down to The Apprentice that I have a platform to enable me to do it.”

Khadija impressed on last week’s edition of The Apprentice, taking on the role of project manager and winning the task.

She said: “I am very head strong - if I have an idea I’m going to do it.

“It is early days on the show, but it was good to win as project manager.”

The next episode of The Apprentice is on BBC 1 at 9pm on Wednesday.