via Daily Mail:
Lying on her hospital bed, Roona Begum almost looks likes any other two-year-old. But her appearance today is a drastic transformation to how the toddler looked just a few months ago after her head swelled to twice its size. These dramatic series of images chart her journey which has seen her undergo numerous operations on her skull.
Doctors carried out her latest reconstructive surgery on Friday and the results are clear to see in these pictures taken of Roona at a hospital in New Delhi, India, on Christmas Day.
Roona’s father, Abdul Rahman, said: ‘We are happy. She is much better now. There was a time when she was unrecognisable.’
Roona, who lives with her impoverished parents in a village in India’s remote northeast, was born with hydrocephalus, a potentially fatal condition that causes cerebrospinal fluid to build up on the brain. Her condition caused her head to swell to a circumference of 94 centimetres (37 inches), putting pressure on her brain and making it impossible for her to sit upright. Images showing Roona’s plight attracted international sympathy which prompted the Fortis Memorial Research Institute in New Delhi to treat her rare condition for free.
Rahman, who works as a labourer earning around £2 a day, said: ‘We are very poor. We were not in a position to arrange for all the treatment. But so many people came forward to help.’
Roona was admitted to the hospital in April and underwent several rounds of surgery in May and June when doctors drained excess fluid from her head and dramatically reduced the size of her skull to 58 centimetres. She spent 105 days in total at the hospital before being discharged in August. But she returned to the same hospital earlier this month to have part of her bone removed from her skull which was then rebuilt.
‘When she came in first, her condition was very critical. We were not sure if she would make it. But, she has responded very well to the treatment,’ Dr Sandeep Vaishya, Director of Neurosurgery at Fortis, said in November.
‘She still has an unusual skull size, but she is healthy. She is doing well.’
Roona will likely have to undergo another procedure early next month to compress her head further. Although Roona’s skull is likely to remain large, she has a good chance of developing normally, provided her neck muscles can grow strong enough to support her head, doctors have said.
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