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Doctors Rally to Save Baby With Severely Enlarged Head

hydrocephalus, baby Klaus

On the left, a brain engorged by hydrocephalus.

The New York Daily News reports that neurosurgeons in San Antonio are fighting to save the life of 11-month-old baby Klaus who has hydrocephalus, “a build-up of excess fluid in the brain that has caused his head to swell to more than 130%.”  Several doctors in Texas had refused to operate on baby Klaus, telling his parents their son would die.  But Dr. David Jimenez, the chairman of the department of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio, decided to take Klaus’s case.

The Daily News reports, “Jimenez and his staff inserted a tube in the baby’s head to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure, and the child’s head is already about a foot smaller than it was when his parents brought him in about two weeks ago.”  Indeed, baby Klaus’s head is enormous.  In footage provided by San Antonio station KENS5, his head appears to be almost the width of Dr. Jimenez’s shoulders, and twice the size of an adult male.

Experts say the baby’s progress will be slow, and that he will need reconstructive surgery once all of the water has drained out of his brain.  Despite Jimenez’s best efforts, KENS5 reports that the baby may end up “blind, deaf, disfigured or disabled.”  His family is praying for a miracle.

Photo: Seattle Children’s Hospital

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