A baby girl in Pakistan with a football-sized head is desperately awaiting life-saving surgery to correct her condition.
Amna Noor, from Abbottabad, was born with hydrocephalus – a build-up of fluid inside her skull which can be deadly.
Her head, which measures nearly 40 inches (101cm) in circumference, has left the seven-month-old immobile and unable to eat or sleep properly.
Money for surgery to remove the fluid has been saved up by her poor parents, who hope their daughter can enjoy a normal life growing up.
Amna Noor, from Abbottabad, was born with hydrocephalus – a build-up of fluid inside his skull which can be deadly
Her head, which measures nearly 40 inches (101cm) in circumference, has left the seven-month-old immobile and unable to eat or sleep properly
Her mother Nisa Malik, 36, said: ‘We were happy that after 10 years finally God has gifted us the second child.
‘The baby [Amna] was quite normal at the time of birth but her head started growing at an abnormal rate.’
Diagnosed with hydrocephalus
Nisa and her husband Malik Amaan, 38, took her to Ayub Medical College, where doctors diagnosed her with hydrocephalus.
Figures estimate one in every 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus, which can kill if the fluid increases pressure on the brainstem.
Money for surgery to remove the fluid has been saved up by her parents, who hope their daughter can enjoy a normal life growing up (pictured with her father Malik Amaan, 38)
Amna’s mother Nisa Malik, 36, said: ‘We were happy that after 10 years finally God has gifted us the second child’
WHAT IS HYDROCEPHALUS?
Hydrocephalus is a build-up of fluid in the brain, which can damage tissue.
Aside from an abnormally-sized head, other symptoms can include headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion and vision problems.
Hydrocephalus’ cause is usually unknown but may be due to issues with cavities in the brain or an underlying health problem that affects blood flow, such as heart disease.
It can also be acquired by damage to the brain due to a head injury, stroke or tumour.
Treatment is shunt surgery, which involves implanting a thin tube into the brain to drain away excess fluid to another part of the body where it can be absorbed into the bloodstream.
If untreated, hydrocephalus can be fatal due to increased pressure compressing the brainstem, which is responsible for regulating heart rates and breathing.
A patient’s prognosis after surgery depends on their age and general health.
Source: Brain and Spine Foundation
Nisa said: ‘Doctors told us that the condition can be treated only through a surgery but Amna was too young for a surgery.
‘We were asked to wait for some months. But now the condition has left her immobile and she is not able to eat or sleep properly.’
She told local reporters: ‘Due to the weight and size of her head, I am unable to change her napkins on my own.
‘I need assistance from my husband or any other family member, which is very painful for me as a mother.’
Amna’s parents took her again to the Ayub Medical College recently. They were told that surgery could be done but it would cost them the equivalent of almost £1,900.
The distraught parents, with the help of family and friends, are currently gathering funds for Amna’s treatment.
They are hopeful that after Eid – an Islamic festival that marks the end of Ramadam, they will get a date for surgery.
Amaan, who works in a transport company and earns £80 a month, said: ‘We have collected some money with the help of friends and family.
‘I hope after the Eid holidays, doctors will give us the date for surgery.
‘I pray to God that our daughter’s condition is treated so that she can have a normal life like other children.’
Dr Nazir Bhatti, a neurosurgeon at Ayub Medical College, said: ‘The baby is suffering from Hydrocephalus.
‘Her head has grown up to nearly 40 inches, which is too big for a seven-month-old baby. The treatment through shunt surgery is possible for the condition.’
Figures estimate one in every 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus, which can kill if the fluid increases pressure on the brainstem
Amna’s parents were told that surgery could be done but it would cost them the equivalent of almost £1,900 (pictured with her father Amaan)