Born in war-torn Iraq, Karam, an eight-month-old child with a rare disorder of extra limbs, got a new lease of life after being treated by a team of Noida-based doctors.
Karam had eight limbs (four extra limbs apart from two hands and two legs) which started developing weeks after he was born. The four extra limbs were protruding out of his stomach. He was also born with a single kidney.
His father Dr Sarmad Ahmed, works in the emergency department of Al-Sawera hospital and his mother Gufran is a homemaker. They brought Karam to India six months ago with the hope of finding a cure for his disorder.
“Years of civil war and violence have left the medical services in Iraq in a shambles. We were alarmed over Karam’s condition and started looking for treatment options in other countries and we found that there is a cure in India,” said Ahmed.
Karam was then treated by a team of doctors from Paediatric Cardiology, Orthopaedics, Paediatrics and Aesthetics and Reconstruction departments of Noida’s Jaypee Hospital.
“This disease is called Polymelia and when Karam was brought to us, he was just two-weeks-old and his condition was extremely critical. He had four extra limbs at birth. One of his legs were shorter than usual and the other one was divided into two parts looking like two separate limbs. In addition, two limbs — one like a leg and the other like hand — were protruding from his stomach. The baby’s normal leg was also slightly crooked,” Dr Rajesh Sharma, director, Paediatric Cardiac Surgery, said.
The surgery to remove the extra limbs was divided into three stages.
“We observed the baby and considering the risk factors, we decided to operate him in multiple stages. In the first two stages, Karam’s club feet was treated and the two limbs which were protruding out of his stomach were removed. Recently, we performed third stage of the surgery in which the other two limbs were also removed. Along with this, Karam’s crooked back was also treated with pelvic osteotomy surgery. This surgery took us around 7- 8 hours,” said Dr Gaurav Rathore, senior consultant, Orthopaedics & Joint Replacement Department.
Doctors took 7-8 hours at each stage of the operation. Karam is now recovering and his parents are hopeful that the effort of the doctors will pay off.
“We are now hopeful of giving him a normal life like any other child,” said Gufran, his mother.
City-based doctors also believe that such cases are extremely rare and occur usually when the mother is carrying twins.
“We have also treated one such patient in our hospital in the past one year. Such a condition arises when the mother is carrying twins, and due to some defect, the kids’ foetuses merge,” said Dr Pramod Sharma, head of department, paediatric surgery, super speciality child hospital, Noida.