Help for Girl with Rare Giant Head Syndrome

15 Apr 2013

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18-month-old Roona Begum, has hydrocephalus


A young girl suffering from a rare condition that has caused her head to swell to more than twice its normal size will receive free treatment at a top private hospital in India.

The offer was made by Fortis Healthcare Group after photos of 18-month-old Roona Begum, who has hydrocephalus, were published in  international media outlets last week, reports Sky News.

It is hoped Roona will now receive the life-saving treatment her parents are unable to afford.

Leading Indian neurosurgeon Sandeep Vaishya, the head of neurosurgery at a Fortis hospital near Mumbai, said: "We will have to do an MRI to check the condition of her brain ... I am hopeful that we will be able to carry out a surgery and relieve the pressure on the poor child's brain".

Hydrocephalus causes cerebrospinal fluid to build up on the brain. Roona's head has swelled to a circumference of 91 centimetres, preventing her from crawling or sitting.

Last week, her father Abdul Rahman, 18, who lives in a mud hut in the Tripura state and earns less than £2 a day working in a brick factory, told reporters only a "miracle" could save his daughter's life.

Speaking after being told of the offer from the Fortis Group, he said he was "very thankful for everyone's generosity".

He added: "We have no money and I don't know how we can ever repay them for what they are doing."

Roona's mother, Fatema Khatun, 25, said: "I am so grateful. I have no words to express my happiness."

Treatment for hydrocephalus involves draining cerebrospinal fluid away from the brain toward another part of the body where it can be easily absorbed into the bloodstream.

"The child must be in a lot of pain because her head is so heavy,"  Vaishya said. "(But) in the images I could see that she was smiling sometimes, which makes me think that her cognitive functions might still be intact."

Tags: Health, Featured, Giant Head

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