When you are a poor family living in a small village in a third-world country, there is not much you can do when life throws you a curve ball. When day-to-day survival is a struggle, expensive medical help is often near impossible to come by.
This is what happened to Roona Begum when her mother brought her out into the world. Nobody thought she would survive. Not with her condition. Roona was born with hydrocephalus. The extreme kind.
The hydrocephalus caused her head to swell up to 37 inches!
Hydrocephalus occurs when an excess of cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain. The condition causes severe swelling in the heads of new infants whose skulls haven’t finished growing. In Roona’s case, her skull swelled up with 10 liters of cerebral fluid, stretching it to extreme “balloon-head” proportions.
Her skull was stretched so hard, Roona was unable to see anything or function normally.
Roona’s parents didn’t have the means to get her treated. Living in the rural countryside near Jirania, India, her father, Abdul Rahman earned an average of $3 a day doing odd jobs. When he and his wife brought Roona to the local doctor, they were advised to take the baby to a private hospital in New Delhi.
However, Abdul didn’t make enough money for expensive medical treatment of any kind. So the baby with her grotesquely distorted head lay in their mud hut for over a year while her parents prayed for a miracle.