The family of a baby girl with a huge growth on her head are desperately trying to find a surgeon to remove the balloon-like lump.
MK Cruz, who is 11 months old, was born with a build-up of fluid on her brain and it has swollen out of control, according to local media reports.
The growth is now bigger than the rest of her head and is affecting the infant’s eyesight – but her family have struggled to find a surgeon to do the work.
People in their local community in Manila in the Philippines are helping MK’s parents raise money and her mother, Cathleen Chavoso, said: ‘My daughter can be saved.’
Miss Chavoso, 18, and MK’s father, Reynaldo Cruz, 32, believe their daughter has a condition called hydrocephalus.
This is a disorder in which spinal fluid builds up within the brain, putting pressure on the skull, causing it to expand outwards and put pressure on the brain.
One in every 1,000 babies are born with hydrocephalus, according to the Hydrocephalus Association, making it ‘as common as Down’s syndrome’.
Some children are worse affected than others and the only treatment is surgery to release the pressure inside their skull using a fluid draining device called a shunt.
The swelling caused by hydrocephalus is usually evenly spread around the top of the head, however, whereas MK’s all seems to come out of one part of her head, suggesting it could be another condition such as a tumour.
She has had the growth since she was born but it has been growing steadily larger ever since.
‘The doctor is confident that hopefully, her eyes can recover once the growth on her head is removed,’ said Mr Cruz, who works as a tricycle driver.
‘But it’s a very risky operation and the doctors here said that they cannot do both procedures. Without the operations, I don’t know what will happen to our daughter.’
The family expect the operations to cost thousands of dollars.
MK will need a shunt – essentially a straw for the excess fluid to leak out of – to be put in drain her skull, the couple said, then further surgery to reconstruct her skull.
Children’s skulls don’t fully fuse together and harden until they’re about two years old so are susceptible to being misshapen by the condition.
‘We are not sure yet if there is someone willing to come here to do the operation,’ Mr Cruz said.
‘Without the surgery to repair her skull it will be permanently deformed.
‘We were told that we need to await a doctor from the US before we can do the second procedure because there was nobody who could do this operation in the Philippines.’
Miss Chavoso added: ‘My daughter can be saved. There are doctors who can do it. We will keep fighting for her.’
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Sam Blanchard