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Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Indian surgeons, Oz aid give Iraqi boy new life

Undertaking a rare and complicated brain surgery, doctors at the Indraprastha Apollo Hospital in Delhi have saved the life of a 14-year-old Iraqi student. The expensive surgery was funded by Iraqi Christians in Australia, doctors said here Tuesday.

"It was a very complicated operation. The planning and execution of the surgery was very, very complex and we had not handled such a case till this boy came in," Pranav Kumar, a leading neurosurgeon at the hospital, told.

Ahmed Hashmi from Iraq was brought to Apollo hospital with a large aneurysm in one of four main arteries in the brain. He had already suffered a stroke, resulting in slurred speech and weakness of right side of his body.

"To stop any further risk, the diseased artery had to be blocked immediately. However, the preliminary tests revealed that the brain could not have tolerated closure of this abnormal artery," Pranav Kumar added.

Shahin Nooreyezdan, a member of the team of doctors who treated Ahmed, said: "Though brain is a very small part of the body, it needs at least 20 percent of the total blood supply. But this problem was obstructing blood flow to his brain. The aneurysm was like a ticking time-bomb, capable of bursting anytime and causing massive brain haemorrhage."

"Had it been left untreated, Ahmed's life span would have been very short," added Hash Rastogi, another senior doctor at Apollo.

The surgery was carried out in two steps - on Dec 4 and Dec 11. The entire expenses of the surgery -Rs.1.4 million - were met by Iraqi Christians based in Australia.

"In stage one of the treatment, a delicate bypass surgery was carried out on his brain successfully. In this operation, a small artery from his face was connected to one of the fine arteries in the brain. This resumed blood supply to brain," Nooreyezdan said.

"A week later, we successfully blocked the abnormal artery. "The treatment has defused the time bomb, which Ahmed was carrying in his brain," Rastogi added.

Wearing a green hospital dress, holding a gift pack and a chocolate, Ahmed was happy. "I have suffered a lot and thank God I am out of it now. I thank all my doctors for giving me a new"He is out of danger. But, he needs to take care against any head injury in future," he said.

Ahmed, whose father is dead, belongs to a poor family. After he was diagnosed with the disease and Iraqi doctors were not in a condition to cure him, his sister contacted a foundation in Australia on the internet and requested help.

"This is how Ahmed got the funding and now you can see him smiling," said Walid M. Albakili, another doctor and research fellow in charge of Gulf and Arab region. life."

"I have already missed my school for six months and am eager to get back soon," said the 14-year-old who wishes to see Taj Mahal before leaving Delhi for his homeland.

Pranav Kumar said that the boy is now almost fit and in two weeks he will be ready to leave for Iraq.

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