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Posted Aug 27 2009 11:34pm
Laying down in his hospital bed and watching each drop of protein supplement entering his body, 17-year-old Ramesh Babu dreams of becoming an IAS officer one day.

Ramesh, who hails from Tamil Nadu is currently undergoing a treatment at Church of South India (CSI) hospital in Bangalore for a rare disease, short bowel syndrome. He does not have the small intestine which absorbs and digests food. It was surgically removed.

In December 2008, he complained about severe abdominal pain and the doctors at first thought it was Appendicitis. But while operating on him, they found gangrene in his small intestine and diagnosed that he was suffering from the Superior Mesenteric Artery (SMA) syndrome, a rare and life threatening gastrointestinal disorder caused by the compression of the third portion of the duodenum.

Speaking to DNA, Dr Sathyasheelan, assistant surgeon at the CSI hospital, said, "Patients with SMA syndrome had rarely come out of the operation theatre. But he survived for more than six months after the surgery.It is a miracle."

His father Naganathan, who is a weaver by profession and from the lower socio-economic stratum of the society find it difficult to meet his hospital expenses. "So far we had spent Rs3 lakh for his treatment. I haven't worked for last seven moths as I have been travelling all over Tamil Nadu for his treatment.We have taken loans to meet the expenses," said his father.

According to Dr Sathyasheelan, there is only one option left before Ramesh, the small bowel transplantation. "The surgery will cost around Rs8-10 lakh and it is difficult to get a living potential donor for the transplantation," he said, adding, "This will be the first small bowel transplant in India, if it happens."

Ramesh's family is planning to get him discharges as they cannot afford the hospital expenses. So far, the treatment was given free of cost from the Bible Society funds.

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