BENGALURU: A three-year-old boy from Iraq who was unable to eat solid food for a year because of complications that arose from a congenital heart disease, was chewing on a toffee as he left the city. Saami Abadi (name changed) was brought to Bengaluru for surgery after several countries were unable to treat him of his rare medical condition - which is known as hypoplastic left heart syndrome - that became even more complicated when his wind pipe and food pipe got intertwined, resulting in him choking.
The doctors could not figure on how it happened, but they say that his initial two surgeries that required a tube insertion, caused this problem. In Iraq, when he was two-years-old, a hole was drilled in his stomach to place a gastronomy and jejunostomy tube for nutritional purposes. In Lebanon, a esophageal covered stent was inserted, but all these tubes caused further complications and had to be removed. The child’s parents are both surgeons, and their relatives recommended bringing him to India.
However, before heading to Bengaluru, his parents approached hospitals throughout the country, and most were reluctant to take up this highly complicated case. Dr C Ramachandra, a senior consultant and HOD of paediatric surgery, institute of women and child health at Sakra World Hospital, was told about this case by a mutual acquaintance. It took one and a half months for him and his team to understand the nature of the case, after which they decided to take it up.
“When he was brought to me, I saw that he was suffering from aspiration pneumonia, a lung infection because of inhaling food, liquid and vomit,” says Dr Ramachandra. “He was stabilized with a chest physiotherapy that removed the mucus from his breathing passage, making his breathing easier,” shares the doctor. An intense eight-hour surgery was done on July 5, where the wind and food pipes was separated.
There was an esophageal leak after the surgery, but doctors say that settled on its own. His food pipe is narrower because of the surgery, so doctors inserted a biliary stent to avoid the muscles from getting attached. On July 8, he was discharged, and he went back home to Iraq “stronger and happy, chewing a toffee”. He will be back in about three months for his follow up checkups.