When we read about them in books or on the internet, the idea of “medical oddities” seems far away and fascinating. Learning about all the different ways the body can betray itself and create something doctors have little idea what to do with can certainly be interesting — but seeing someone with that condition is a whole different ballgame. The human side of rare diseases and conditions is very real, very jarring, and very difficult to process. That being said, be warned that these pictures may be hard to look at. While they might make you uncomfortable, consider the fact that what you’re looking at is a real person, a little girl who has had to summon up more bravery and strength in her short life than most of us will ever have to. Her story is inspiring, heartbreaking, and most of all, a reminder that every day we’re happy and healthy is a lucky one. Meet Roona Begum below.Born in India, Roona made international headlines after her head swelled to more than three times its normal size, shocking the world with disturbing images of her suffering.
It’s called hydrocephalus, more commonly known as “water on the brain. Basically, her skull was full of excess fluid that couldn’t drain on its own.
Eventually, doctors were able to figure out a plan to help relieve the swelling and Roona’s suffering.
This condition is incredibly precarious, so there’s no telling how Roona would react to treatment.
As it turns out, his photos ended up helping save her life.
After the photos went viral, an online crowd funding campaign raised an incredible $62,000 to go towards Roona’s treatment.
Then again, once you see photos of this sweet kid in so much pain, it’s hard not to do something to help.
That was the most crucial part of her treatment, and it was mostly successful.
Now, Roona has a chance at a relatively normal life, thanks to the skilled treatment she received.
She’s improved, but there is still more work to be done. The important thing, though, is that her condition is no longer immediately life threatening.
“The doctors said she would not live – but she has survived. She is much better now. She can hold her head straight and she can move her head from side to side on her own. She responds to other kids and she will smile if other kids call out her name.”
“I see a lot of improvement, which I didn’t expect,” said Dr. Sandeep Vaishya. “She has started laughing, she makes a lot of sounds and she occasionally speaks a few words. She has gained a lot of weight and her activities have improved a lot.”
Though she’s still got some battles to win, you can’t deny the progress this little gal has made.
“But most likely I don’t think she will be absolutely normal because with such a severe case of hydrocephalus there has to be some damage to the brain. But with the improvement she has shown we are hopeful she will be able to do some things.”
“I would be very happy if she could stand and talk and be like a normal child,” her mom said. ” We hope she will one day she will even go to school.”