Arfa Karim Randhawa, a young computer prodigy who garnered international recognition at the tender age of nine for becoming Microsoft’s youngest professional, has died following an epileptic seizure at the age of 16.
Reports from Pakistan state that she had suffered the seizure on Dec. 22 and had been in the hospital in a coma for nearly a month after going into cardiac arrest after the episode.
Arfa suffered a complication this past Saturday which caused her to be transferred to the emergency room. Major Ahsan Randhawa told The International Herald that a tracheotomy tube, which had been inserted to help her breathe, resulted in bleeding in the throat. She was rushed into surgery where unfortunately she did not recover.
“She wasn’t being operated for surgery, she had been shifted to emergency because of the bleeding,” Randhawa said.
When she was only nine years old she became Microsoft's youngest certified worker. She even was honored by Bill Gates for her impact in the company. She received many awards during her lifetime, including being the youngest recipient of the Presidential Award for Pride of Performance.
The news is hard to bear considering just two weeks ago her outlook appeared to improve. Gates had even offered to have her transferred to the U.S. and pay for her medical expenses but she was not in a condition to move, according Geo.TV.
"We are grieving her loss but she was a strong child. She was God's gift to us and now she has returned to Him," Randhawa's uncle told The Express Tribune.
Major Ahsan Randhawa added that Arfa had been doing fine prior to the complication. ”She had no complication prior to the bleeding,” he added. “Everything just happened so suddenly.”
Arfa’s funeral will be held at the Ayub stadium in Cantonment at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday. Her body will then be moved to Faisalabad where another funeral service held at 2:00 p.m., as reported by The Express Tribune.