Arfa Karim Randhawa, a 16-year-old child prodigy who was the world's youngest Microsoft Certified Professional and the pride of Pakistan, died Saturday in a Lahore hospital after an epileptic seizure and cardiac arrest left her in a coma in Dec. 28.
The death saddened Pakistanis who were hopeful that Randhawa would survive after her condition improved two weeks ago, according to reports.
As early as Jan. 4, her father Amjad Karim Randhawa, told the Express Tribune newspaper that doctors no longer considered her case hopeless.
Now we believe that a miracle will take place, the newspaper quoted the hopeful father.
Randhawa, who became a Microsoft Certified Professional at 9 years old and won several awards including the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal for science and technology, the Salam Pakistan Youth Award in 2005 and the President's Award for Pride of Performance, was well-loved in Pakistan.
The loss of any young life is tragic, but in losing Arfa the nation has lost one of its stars, the editorial board of wrote The News International Monday. Arfa reportedly wore her fame modestly, and we will of course never know what she might have gone on to achieve. Yet despite her youth, she is going to leave a legacy that is going to echo down the years. Her life was a fine example of what can be achieved, and that people from Pakistan can be famous for all the right reasons, rather than all the wrong ones.
Just two weeks ago, Microsoft sent doctors to try and help the 16-year-old who suffered the epileptic and cardia attack Dec. 22, but they could not help the ailing teenager. After receiving the certification in 2004, Bill Gates, Microsoft chairman invived her to the Amercian headquarters in 2005 when Randhawa was just 10 years old.
Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Arfa Karim. She was a bright young woman who inspired many, Microsoft sent out via Twitter, where many well-wishers wrote supportive messages to the Randhawa family.
No reason for the epileptic seizure or cardiac arrest was given, according to news reports.
Unlike Arfa, whose parents provided the full support necessary to ensure that her talent could blossom, there are other potential geniuses who do not have that kind of emotional and financial backing, the editors wrote. Even though we do not know where Arfa's limitless skills would have led her, we should ensure that future Arfas are not lost simply for lack of resources. It is also important to ensure that her memory lives on and she is not forgotten like so many heroes in this country. Arfa Karim was an inspiration in her lifetime; in death she can continue to be a guiding light for millions of ambitious children.
The funeral for Randhawa was held Sunday at Al Khalid Mosque in Cavalry Ground and attended by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Lahore Corps Commander Lt Gen Rashad Mahmood along with a large number of mourners, according to the Daily News.