There’s new hope for Roona Begum, an 18-month-old baby from Jirania, a rural village in India, who underwent successful surgery to treat her rare condition.
Roona suffers from hydrocephalus, which has caused her head to swell to nearly double its size. The child made headlines earlier this year when pictures of her swollen head went viral, helping her family raise enough money to get her the surgery she desperately needed. Her father, Abdul Rahman, 26, is an Indian laborer who makes 150 Rupees a day, which translates to $2.75 USD, according to a report by Agence-France Presse.
"The head makes it so unusual. It's a huge size, " the Epoch Times quoted Sandeep Vaishya, who is in charge of neurosurgery at Fortis hospital in Delhi, where the operation took place. Before the procedure, Roona’s head was 37 inches (94 centimeters) around, reports have revealed.
"You can imagine the challenges in managing such a baby, both surgically and for the parents, also," said Vaishya. "We had never faced such a situation before. There was no way we would know exactly how we are going to deal with it."
Her parents said her head got to be so big that she couldn't hold anything or walk without their help. But luckily, Roona has a chance to be more independent in the future thanks to a successful surgery.
“The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected," Vaishya told AFP after the procedure. "It's definitely a success but it's too early to say what the quality of her future life will be like." After the surgery, her head measured less than 25 inches.
The child is going to have to work hard to lead a fully functional life. "Her neck muscles are very under-developed, so she will need more nutrition and extensive physiotherapy to make her stronger," the doctor told AFP. "Her body will have to grow strong so she can learn to sit up and move about and live a normal life.”
Roona’s condition gained awareness nationally after two Norwegian students reportedly saw AFP photos of her swollen head and raised more than $1,500,000 through an online campaign to help her family and any future aftercare treatment. Web donations for Roona and her family can be seen at mygoodact.com.
Footage from her surgery in the Delhi hospital can be seen below: