By Bilal Kuchay
A nine-year-old boy is desperately waiting for a surgery to remove a lump almost double the size of cricket ball that is protruding out of his belly button.
Salman Qadir from Bhirya in Pakistan’s Sindh province has an umbilical hernia, which weighs 2kg (4.4lbs).
He cannot walk or run like children of his age or fit in clothes properly.
His family says the condition is forcing the boy to live as a pariah as children in the neighbourhood make fun of him.
Salman’s 49-year-old mother, Kiran Qadir said: “Salman was born through a caesarean delivery.
“He was very weak and suffered from Jaundice when he was born.
“We all thought that he will not survive but he did.
“He used to have stomach problems and constipation but nothing was such serious.”
Salman was born as the eleventh child to late Qadir Raheem and Kiran Qadir.
His mother says that Salman like his other siblings was normal until six months ago when the lump started growing on his stomach.
But due to the untimely death of his father in a bike accident, the family ignored Salman’s condition initially.
“We all were in shock after the death of my husband in the bike accident and ignored Salma’s condition.
“His elder brothers used to take him to a local faith healer and instead of any improvement his condition kept worsening.”
Salman, who was studying in class 2, stopped going to school after the lump grew to an unimaginable size.
Earlier this month, his mother and the eldest brother finally got Salman admitted in Jinnah Post Graduate Medical Centre in Karachi after travelling more than 200 miles from their hometown in a bus.
Dr Ayesha Majeed said: “The boy was admitted in the hospital after he complained extreme pain in his hernia.
“Initial tests suggest that he is also suffering from pneumonia.
“He must be having hernia since his childhood but as the hernia was left untreated it has grown to this size.
Dr Ayesha admits that she had never seen such a big hernia hanging from a child’s belly.
She further said that a surgery to remove the lump would be planned only after his pneumonia is treated and he gain some weight.
“He is took week. We are putting him on a proper diet so that he will gain some weight and get prepared for the surgery,” she added.
WHAT ARE UMBILICAL HERNIAS?
A hernia occurs when an internal part of the body pushes through a weakness in the muscle or surrounding tissue wall.
Umbilical hernias are very common in infants and young children, especially in babies born prematurely.
An umbilical hernia appears as a painless lump in or near the navel (belly button).
It may get bigger when laughing, coughing, crying or going to the toilet and may shrink when relaxing or lying down.
In many cases, the umbilical hernia goes back in and the muscles reseal before the child’s first birthday.
Umbilical hernias can also develop in adults. Without treatment, the hernia will probably get worse over time.