Lying on a hospital bed under the watch of her family members, eight-year-old Neha got to taste solid food after more than six years. While she was 18-month-old, Neha had accidentally swallowed toilet cleaning acid that severely damaged her food pipe. But kudos to the doctors at Ahmedabad’s VS Hospital who have replaced her oesophagus, Neha, a resident of Mau district of Uttar Pradesh, is now able to eat.
According to an Indian Express report, Neha’s father – Ram Prakash, who works as a carpenter, said that her daughter couldn’t even swallow her own saliva. He took Neha to Lucknow and put an artificial tube so that she could be fed liquid food. She remained underweight. Prakash and his wife went to many hospitals, but the doctors refused to operate on her, saying that she was underweight.
“We didn’t send her to school as we feared that children would pull her tube. But now we are going back to enrol her in a school,” added Ram Prakash.
The family came to Ahmedabad on the recommendation of the doctors in Lucknow. They arrived in AHmedabad in March and met doctors at the VS Hospital who notably performed the surgery free of cost.
“It was challenging to operate on an underweight child. Neha weighed just 19.5 kg. But we decided to take up the challenge. We took a section of her small intestine and replaced the oesophagus, thereby creating a new link between her mouth and stomach,” said Dr Hasmukh Vora, associate professor (surgical gastroenterology) at VS Hospital.
The operation, which was performed on May 9, lasted for five hours. The doctors have kept the artificial pipe so that the transition is easy from the artificial pipe to the new oesophagus. They’ll remove it soon, following which Neha can eat whatever she wants. Her other vitals are in a good condition and she is doing fine.
Neha was allowed to eat solids from May 15. She will be likely discharged from the hospital today.