LAHORE - World’s youngest IT wizard Arfa Karim Randhawa breathed her last at the Combined Military Hospital on Saturday after remaining in coma for 24 days.

Her funeral prayers will be offered today at 10am at Cavalry Ground from where her body will be taken to Faisalabad for burial at her ancestral village Chak 4, Ram Dewali.

Studying at Lahore Grammar School Paragon Campus in her second year of A Levels, Arfa suffered cardiac ailment after an epileptic seizure on December 22, 2011, and was admitted to Lahore’s CMH in critical condition. Microsoft Corporation Chairman Bill Gates contacted her parents for her treatment in the US. Gates also directed his doctors to adopt every kind of measure for the treatment of young genius. Arfa could not be shifted as she was on a ventilator.

Born on February 2, 1995, Randhawa came to limelight after becoming the youngest Microsoft Certified Professionals (MCPs) in the world in 2004 at 9. She kept the MCPs title until 2008. She was invited by Gates to visit the Microsoft Headquarters in the US. She wrote a poem on Bill Gates. In August 2005, Arfa Karim received the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal in the field of science and technology. She also received the Salaam Pakistan Youth Award. Arfa got the President’s Pride of Performance Award, the youngest ever recipient of the high-level civil award granted to people showing excellence in their respective fields over a long period of time. She also represented Pakistan on various international forums. She was invited by the IT professionals of Dubai for a stay of two weeks there. A dinner was hosted for her in Dubai, which was attended by the ambassador of Pakistan. During that trip, Arfa was presented with various awards. She flew a plane in a flying club in Dubai at the age of 10, and received the first flight certificate. In November 2006, Arfa was invited by the Microsoft to be a part of the keynote session in the Tech-Ed Developers conference held in Barcelona. The theme of the conference was “Get Ahead of the Game” and Arfa was presented as a true specimen of being ahead of the game. She was the only Pakistani among over 5,000 developers in that conference.

After suffering from cardiac ailment, Arfa was admitted to the CMH in critical conditions.

On January 2, 2012, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani visited the hospital with his daughter Fiza Gilani to enquire after Arfa. On January 9, 2012, Bill Gates made contact with Arfa’s parents, and directed his doctors to adopt every kind of measure for her treatment. On January 13, the condition of world’s youngest MCP started improving and some parts of her brain shown signs of betterment. Doctors say she has suffered brain damage, leaving her in a coma at the CMH. Her father, Amjad Karim Randhawa, said Microsoft had raised the possibility of flying Arfa to the US for care. On January 14, 2012, Arfa passed away at 9:50pm at the CMH.

Soon after her death, condolences started pouring in from various circles. Politicians from the government and opposition expressed sorrow and grief over the sad demise of the young genius. President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, PML-N President Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif expressed grief and offered condolences to the bereaved family.