Child with rare huge head gets lifesaving surgery

Published On: Friday, December 28, 2012 5:30 AM
By: David Ross
Titung Dawa before and after photos
A rare surgery is giving hope for the future of a child.
Titung Dawa had a head about 10 inches larger than the average size of the head of a child, making it impossible for him to keep his head up, Johns Hopkins Children's Center confirmed in an email.

"His head was very large. It was very hard to take care of Dawa," said his mother, Phool Titung, to the news media.

Doctors at a missionary visit to the 7-year-old from the remote region of Nepal and diagnosed the child with hydrocephalus, a potentially fatal disorder, when the amount of fluid increases the size of the ventricles and presses on the brain, according to the Clinic Mayo.

Dawa’s parents took the child to Johns Hopkins Children's Center in Baltimore, where doctors said they had never seen a head as big as Dawa and the child faces extreme risks treating the condition.
"He had what Hopkins surgeons say it is one of the biggest heads ever to be operated on ," the hospital said in a statement.

To avoid cutting through the blood vessels in the skull that pump blood into the brain, surgeons made a computer model of the head of Dawa to plan how to make the delicate operation.
Miraculously, the 12-hour surgery was a success.

"The team knew exactly where to cut, what areas to cut and how to it put back together before returning the cover of the brain," the hospital said.

Dawa was released after two weeks in the hospital and is recovering, but will continue to struggle with developmental delays.

However, his mother said Dawa’s care is not as difficult as it was before surgery.
"Now he can easily lift his head, carry his head from one place to another," she said. "I am very grateful."