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Thursday, August 29, 2013

INDIAN - 18 MONTH -OLD MAKES REMARKABLE RECOVERY AFTER HYDROCEPHALUS SURGERY

Four months ago, the circumference of Roona Begum's head was 94 centimeters -- almost triple the size of a normal baby -- due to ten liters of excess fluid inside her brain. Born in a remote village in northeastern India, Roona was diagnosed with an extreme form of hydrocephalus and was given only a few months to live.
The pictures may be difficult to look at, but 18-month-old Roona Begum's story of survival is remarkable.

Soon after she was born in a remote village in northeastern India, Roona was diagnosed with an extreme form of hydrocephalus -- a disorder causing cerebral fluid to build up in the brain.
Doctors had given Roona just a few months to live.


"Day-by-day, her head started growing bigger, she stopped wanting to eat, she would just lie in bed, it became very difficult for us to carry her and take her anywhere," says Roona's father Abdul Rehman says.

Roona's head grew to a circumference of 94 centimeters, almost triple the size of a normal baby.
There were ten liters of excess fluid inside her brain. Her head was so heavy she could barely move.  Hydrocephalus is more common among infants and older adults. The condition is caused by overproduction, obstruction or lack of absorption of the cerebral fluid in the brain.
"Day by day her head started growing bigger, she stopped wanting to eat, she would just lie in bed, it became very difficult for us to carry her and take her anywhere," Roona's father Abdul Rehman said.

The skin of her head has stretched so far, it pulled her eyelids over her eyes, making it impossible for Roona to see.

Her mother, Fatima Begum, would draw eyebrows on Roona with black kohl everyday just to try and make her look more normal.

"She had such a big head, it was scary for people to see her," Fatima explains.
Roona may be Abdul and Fatima's only child, but they couldn't afford to treat her. Roona's 18-year-old father works at a brick kiln earning less than $3 a day. For more than a year and a half, they took care of Roona in their two-room mud hut, with little knowledge or means of doing much else.
 Before Roona underwent several surgeries to reduce the swelling, the skin of her head was stretched so far that it pulled her eyelids over her eyes, making it impossible for her to see.
In April this year, a journalist took photos of Roona and soon people all over the world including two Norwegian students Natalie Krantz and Jonas Borchgrevink were moved by her condition.Back in her village, Roona has become the center of attention. Its too early to tell if she will ever be completely normal -- several operations still lie ahead, but the signs so far are promising.

Krantz and Borchgrevink put Roona's photo on a crowd funding website, hoping to raise $1,600 to cover her shunt surgery. In two months, they raised double that amount, and by August 2013, they raised more than $60,000.
After five high-risk surgeries, Roona pulled through and her head is now down to a circumference of 58 cm. She can now move her head around, she is more playful and most importantly, she can see.

This is serious.  May God grant him divine healing.

Read more on CNN

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