A three-year-old girl was evacuated from Gaza by the charity Chain of Hope and brought to London's Royal Brompton Hospital for life-saving heart surgery.

Born with a hole in her heart, Hala al Massri’s heart condition was complex but treatable. However, in her homeland of Gaza there were no working facilities available to operate on her.

The Chain of Hope charity, founded by former Harefield Hospital surgeon Professor Sir Magdi Yacoub, helps children with cardiac disease to access treatment in the UK that isn't available in their own country. 

Without the charity's help, children from war-torn and developing countries otherwise find it almost impossible to receive the treatment they need.

Once Chain of Hope heard about Hala’s case, she was earmarked for assistance - but the conflict in Gaza meant the charity did not think that she would be able to receive this life-saving care in time.

With her condition deteriorating, and her home and medical supplies believed to be destroyed by a shell, the charity rallied for help.

Through the combined efforts and support of the charity, the Red Cross, the UK Government and The Sun newspaper, Hala was transported out of Gaza. After a difficult three-day journey, Hala arrived in London for treatment.

Hala was treated at Royal Brompton Hospital's specialist paediatric unit, where surgeon Professor Francois Lacour-Gayet (who is now retired) stabilised and treated her and will continue to monitor her progress.