By Bilal Kuchay
These adorable pictures show a baby playing with his father at home, six months after undergoing a life-changing surgery for a rare condition – which doctors had predicted would take his life.
22-year-old Gula Lai from Sultanabad in Karachi, Pakistan, gave birth to her second child Muhammad Anas on October 18, 2015 through a natural but premature delivery.
However, six month’s after the birth, Anas’s head started growing at an abnormal rate due to Hydrocephalus, a condition that resulted in excess fluid built up in his brain.
“I was only 6 month and 10 days pregnant when I delivered Anas. The baby was too weak as it was a premature delivery.
“Six months from his birth, his head started getting bigger abnormally and looked like a football. He could not open his eyes, there was no movement.
“It was the most difficult times of our life. He could not sleep properly, could not eat well and would cry most of the times due to pain.
“But what hurt us most was the moment when people would stare at him as if he was a ghost baby,” said Gula Lai.
The worried parents took the baby to Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre, where doctors diagnosed him with the life-threatening condition but refused to perform a surgery because he was too weak and chances of his survival were grim.
The doctors, in fact, told the distraught parents to pray for the baby’s death as only that will relieve him of pain.
“We were devastated to hear that. How could doctors say that? But we did not give up,” said Shoaib Khan.
The young parents consulted doctors at Medicenter General Hospital, who took the chance and performed surgery on Anas, giving him a new lease of life.
Dr Abid Saleem, neurosurgeon said : “There were fifty percent chances of his survival but we took the risk and operated on him.
“His head was grown almost double the size of a football. Through a shunt surgery, we drained all the excessive fluid from his head.
“The baby responded well to the treatment and has improved a lot. We are hopeful that he is going to lead a healthy life now.”
Six months after the surgery, Anas’s head is steadily shrinking to normal size.
He can now eat properly, plays and responds to his parents chatter. However, the toddler still needs support to sit as he is still very young and the weight of head is heavy for his tiny frame.
“He smiles and plays with his toys. Our hearts melt to see him living a normal life. He is growing to a beautiful child.
“We are thankful to God that our son has received the treatment and he can now live like other children,” the mother said with glint in her eyes.
Hydrocephalus is a condition in which an accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) within the brain is formed. This typically causes increased pressure inside the skull.
While older people may have headaches, double vision, poor balance, urinary incontinence, personality changes, or mental impairment. In babies there may be a rapid increase in head size. Hydrocephalus can occur due to birth defects or be acquired later in life.