Surgery over for Iraqi baby with birth defect09/01/2006 - 17:30:57
The Iraqi infant known as baby Noor underwent surgery today in the US for her spinal birth defects, and doctors said the operation, the first of at least three, went well.
Three-month-old Noor al-Zahra, who was born with spina bifida, was “doing well” and was in recovery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, said hospital spokesman Kevin McClelland.
The infant’s grandmother and father cried “tears of joy and relief,” said Helen Shepard of Childspring International, the group that provided a host family for them and will arrange medical care when Noor gets back to Iraq.
Baby Noor was discovered several weeks ago by US troops raiding a house in Abu Ghraib, a poverty-stricken district in Iraq west of Baghdad. The soldiers noticed paralysis in the baby’s legs and what appeared to be a tumour on her back. Spina bifida prevents the backbone and spinal cord from closing before birth.
In today’s surgery, doctors planned to place her spinal cord in its proper place down the centre of the back and cover it with muscle and other tissue.
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