- Shayans story has been covered by The Straits Times. Please follow this link to the story -> http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/pakistani-bo...
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Shayan is a 10 year old boy from Pakistan. In 2014 he started to complain of frequent headaches and poor vision. The doctors were consulted and he was given medication and was advised to wear prescription glasses, which successfully alleviated the headaches.
After a few months, the headaches resumed with increased intensity and were accompanied with a loss of hearing and loss of balance. He was taken back to hospital where he was referred to a neurosurgeon.
After multiple tests (Blood, CT scan, MRI) the doctors detected a tumour in Shayan’s Brain.
The family contacted 14 of the best surgeons in Pakistan to discuss his case, after which they decided on a specialist Dr Anjum Habib Vhora in Lahore based on his experience and credentials. Shayan was admitted to SergiMed Hospital in Lahore (recommended due to its children’s facilities).
The pre-surgery tests showed that the tumour was malignant and due to its size it was crucial to remove it immediately. The surgery was completed with partial success and the major part of the tumour was removed. The entire tumour could not be removed as the surgeon was unable to reach the whole area where the tumour had spread. It was agreed that a follow-up surgery would be conducted after a few weeks and the residual tumour would be removed.
However, during the post-surgery recovery phase, Shayan’s health deteriorated and he developed multiple infections (in the brain, chest, throat and lungs). His bacterial infection markers shot up above 1000. Shayan became so weak due to the strain of the brain surgery and the multiple infections that he was unable to breathe by himself and the doctors had to perform a tracheostomy.
As the matter was becoming increasingly complex, Dr Vhora advised the family to speak to a neurosurgeon in Singapore. Having consulted the neurosurgeon in Singapore and after much deliberation the decision was made to bring Shayan to Singapore to be treated for the infections and to have the residual tumour removed.
Shayan was brought to Singapore in an Air Ambulance and he was admitted to Mount Elizabeth Hospital.
The day after arriving, Shayan underwent brain surgery and the abscess was successfully removed.
During the course of the procedure the surgeon opened a path for the excess water in the brain to drain off with a view that when the swelling of the brain would reduce, then the natural path would be used.
During post-surgery recovery, Shayan underwent a number of tests to identify the nature of the infections present so that the doctors could treat him. The bacterial results came back positive and he was started on a course of Antibiotics.
A week later the micro-culture test results came back and a life-threatening fungal infection was identified in Shayan’s brain. Additionally, during a routine post-surgery CT scan, doctors noticed another tumour in the brain, which could not have been detected before as it was covered by the swelling of the surrounding areas of the brain.
Shayan was put on intravenous medication to treat the fungal infection. A very high dosage had to be administered due to the type of fungal infection and unfortunately this caused his blood pressure and heart rate to shoot up to a dangerous level resulting in him being admitted to ICU. Unfortunately to complicate the matter further, the excessive water in the brain was diluting the medication that was meant to treat the fungal infection.
In parallel the swelling of the brain had not reduced at the normal rate and with the natural water path partially blocked, there was a build-up of pressure in Shayan’s brain.
Shayan underwent a third surgery to have a VP Shunt permanently installed in his brain. This in essence created a new path for the water to be drained out of his brain. This would be the way that the water would drain out going forward.
Whilst all this was happening, the antibiotics that Shayan was taking for his bacterial infections (in his brain, throat, chest and lungs) had worked and he was now clear of all bacterial infections.
Shayan has since moved back to the children’s ward from the ICU.
The main issue at the moment is the fungal infection as it is critical that this is completely removed from the brain. A sample was sent for a micro-culture test and we are expecting results at the end of next week to see if the medication is working and at what rate.
The results on the third tumour have come back and the surgeon has advised that it is benign and not the main risk factor at this point in time and the focus needs to remain on the fungal infection.
Shayan was being fed through a nasogastric tube and the tracheostomy has helped him to breathe properly. His legs were not working but doctors expect that as the brain has recovered, the legs can become normal as there is still some sensation in them. Shayan is returning home to continue his physio therapy and speech therapy and will return to Singapore in May / June 2017 for surgery to have the remaining tumour removed.
The family have already paid approximately S$305,000 for the treatments to date. Shayan belongs to a middle-class family and his parents have sold all of their assets to support the medical expenditure. We as a community have raised over S$250,000 towards the costs to date, covering the hospital, doctors, medications, and other essential supplies..
We need to raise approximately S$135,000 in additional funds to pay the balance of the hospital costs as well as to cover the costs of the upcoming surgery to finally remove the tumour.. The expected treatment costs are estimated based on his current response to the treatment he is on and does not take into account any other potential surgeries or complications.