Family’s pride at bravery of girl left for dead

Just four months ago Sabah Saleem was left for dead along with her brother in a horrifying hit-and-run just yards from their Leeds home.

But the ten-year-old fighter will celebrate her birthday with her mum and dad back at home tomorrow after making a remarkable recovery.

Sabah and her brother Rayhan were left fighting for their lives after they were struck by a car in a tragedy that shocked the community.

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Sabah and Rayhan, who is now three, were helping their family prepare for their Eid celebrations and were sent to a nearby shop with their cousin to purchase some vegetables.

But their celebrations were cut short following the incident on August 18.

She was hailed a “heroine” by her family after it emerged she was thought to have taken the brunt of the impact in a bid to shield her beloved brother.

Their heartbroken family faced an agonising wait for news following the incident on Brudenell Road, in Hyde Park, as the youngsters were rushed to Leeds General Infirmary.

Their mother, Tazeem Noor, 
32, a housewife, and father, Mohammed Saleem, 37, an IT analyst, maintained a tearful vigil 
as their children fought for survival.

And their uncle Aroon Rafique, and family were left caring for the couple’s other two daughters, aged eight and ten months.

Rayhan was released from hospital just weeks after the incident but his family said he “lost his sparkle” when he eventually came home.

Now little fighter Sabah, who remained critically ill in hospital 
for months, has finally been allowed to go back home at weekends.

And the family are set to hold a special party on Sunday to celebrate her birthday.

Their beaming father said: “It’s nice for her to be home for her birthday and we’re going to have a party because it’s her sister’s birthday this week too.

“It’s all the more special now.”

He said that the incident has made the family unit much stronger.

“Our faith is much more stronger than before,” he said.

“I wouldn’t like anyone else to go through this.”

Sabah still has to undergo weeks of intense physiotherapy because her right-hand side is weaker following the crash .

Her parents have been told that she could still spend weeks in hospital to help build her strength up but the family said they are just thrilled to be reunited with their daughter during their precious weekends together.

Mr Rafique said: “Rayhan is fine and Sabah is much better.

“She’s still in hospital but comes home at weekends.

“We are a lot more positive but it’s still early days.”

He added: “Sabah has really missed home. It’s been four months.

“The family are all happy to see her and we pray to God and God saved her.”

Mr Rafique said the family have been touched by the support they have received from well-wishers following the incident.

Police launched a manhunt in Leeds following the incident that shocked the close-knit community.

Officers arrested a 36-year-old man on suspicion of dangerous driving, failing to stop at the scene of an accident and failing to report an accident. A 39-year-old man was held on suspicion of dangerous driving, while a 26-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender.

All three, from Leeds, remain on bail and have not been charged.