By Bilal Kuchay
A three-month-old Pakistani girl has undergone a life changing surgery in which surgeons removed a lump from her neck that was bigger than her HEAD.
Zareena Mangro from Loralai in Pakistan’s Balochistan province was born with occipital encephalocele – a rare condition in which brain fluid bulges out of the skull bone.
The baby born as the third child to parents Wajid Mangro, 37, and mother Nasreen Mangro, 24, through a normal delivery had a mass the size of a golf ball on her neck.
Within three months it grew rapidly and she was not able to turn her head.
The infant underwent a three-hour surgery at Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre in Karachi earlier this month and the lump was successfully removed from her neck.
Neurosurgeon Ali Muhammad Jamali, who performed the surgery, said: “It was a case of occipital encephalocele. The chances of patient’s survival were 50:50.
“As the toddler was only three-month-old, we could not have afforded any loss of blood.
“The three-hour long operation was successful. There were no complications and the patient is recovering well.
“She will be discharged from the hospital anytime within this week.”
The parents, who travelled 500 miles for their daughter’s surgery, said the decision for the surgery was extremely difficult as doctors had not given them complete guarantee.
Nasreen said: “We had lost all our hopes when people in the hospital ward said that doctors are delaying the surgery as they believe there are no chances of Zareena’s survival.
“Also, when the doctors said there are 50:50 chances, I was fearful we might lose our daughter.
“I was very scared when they took Zareena for surgery. I was continuously praying for her long life outside the operation theatre.
“We are thankful to God and the doctors at Jinnah hospital that our daughter can live a normal life now.”
Zareena’s father, Wajid Mangro, who works as a plumber in a construction company in UAE, was in Dubai when his daughter was born.
In January, he took a one month leave from work and flew back to Pakistan in order to get her daughter operated in a bigger hospital in Karachi.
Wajid and her wife Nasreen travelled over 500 miles in a bus from Loralai to Karachi and got Zareena admitted in Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre.
He said: “I was in Dubai when Zareena was born.
“I came back when she was two and half months old. It was heartbreaking for me to see my daughter in such condition.
“I’m happy that my daughter has undergone a successful surgery. Now, I can go back to work satisfactorily.”
Encephalocele, sometimes known as cranium bifidum, is a neural tube defect characterized by sac-like protrusions of the brain and the membranes that cover it through openings in the skull. These defects are caused by failure of the neural tube to close completely during fetal development.