Orphaned Vietnamese baby recovering well after 5-hour operation

Orphaned Vietnamese baby recovering well after 5-hour operation
PHOTO: Give Asia

SINGAPORE - Orphaned Vietnamese baby Loc Pham Duc Loc is recovering well in KK Women & Children's Hospital after a five-hour operation on Feb 13 to drain fluid from his head.

The seven-month-old boy suffers from hydrocephalus, or "water on the brain", which is a build-up of the cerebrospinal fluid that surrounds the brain.

Baby Loc was abandoned at Van Buc Temple in the southern coastal province of Ben Tre last July. He came to Singapore on Jan 12 after the Vietnamese community here suggested to Vietnamese monk Thich Le Hieu to bring him to the city-state.

According to a Shin Min Daily News report on Friday, the latest operation - the fifth one in his young life, managed to drain 70 per cent of the fluid in his head. This in turn has reduced his head circumference by 3cm.

Although he is still under observation at the hospital, his recovery has been encouraging so far.

Baby Loc after the operation to drain fluid from his head.
Photo: AsiaOne 

Restaurant owner Nguyen Hong Thao, 33, told the Chinese evening daily that if he recovers well enough, the next operation would be one where a tube would be inserted to drain the fluid from this head to his stomach, where it can be expelled.

Otherwise, he might have to undergo another operation to drain more fluid.

Besides fluid in the brain, baby Loc also suffers from blindness in his left eye, and blurry vision in his right eye as a result of hydrocephalus. His brain function has also been affected by the condition, but it is hoped that some recovery can be made when the fluid is drained.

An online crowdfunding page Ms Thao created on Give Asia has so far raised more than $136,000, far exceeding the initial $100,000 target.

candicec@sph.com.sg

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