For a baby to be born with a deformed, missing or abnormal limb, that is not news. But the news is when a baby is born with its heart outside the chest.
This incident has recently occurred in a Khartoum hospital. The baby girl Aqdar Ramadan Batran was born with its heart beating normally outside its body and functioning exactly as a normal heart would do. The baby name 'Aqdar' is the Arabic word for 'fates'!
The baby girl's mother said all through her pregnancy she never felt something wrong. All ultrasound and laboratory checkups showed nothing unusual and the birth was smooth and easy going inside the Alban Jadeed Hospital of Haj Yousif Neighborhood, said the mother, Ms. Najat.
After delivery the doctors took the girl to the incubator. "Here I was worried and asked the doctors if the baby was born dead and they gave a negative reply," she said.
But they told me to be patient and behave like what a faithful person should do, she said.
Then they told me the truth. "Your baby should be referred to a more specialized hospital," they said, and described the real condition of the girl.
The girl and her mother were then referred to Ahmad Qasim Heart Hospital where she was told that this was an abnormal case that requires more researching. She was then moved to the Sudan Heart Hospital, then to the Italian Heart Hospital in Khartoum's Soba suburb and then to Ja'afar Ibn Awf Referential Children's Hospital where a group of consultants concluded that the baby needed a complicated surgery which is not available at the moment.
They told her that an Irish surgeon had performed a similar operation before and would do the job but was asking for a huge sum the family could not afford.
The family started selling their home furniture and anything that can get cash, but that was not enough.
Ja'afar Ibn Awf Hospital Director, Dr. Ali Arabi, told Sudanow they had given the baby utmost care and that, in addition to the heart situation, the baby suffers from other health problems. "She has an ailment in the layer separating the right and left ventricles. There is also a congenital defect in the heart's arteries and, in addition, the baby has a cleft lip and a fractured jaw," he said.
He said they had put the girl under intensive care and continue to supply her with the required medicines.
"This is one of the world's rare cases and needs surgical intervention, preferably as soon as possible," said Dr. Arabi.
"Whenever the surgery is performed at an early stage, the better," he said.
But he said there is still light at the end of the tunnel.
"A British voluntary group has contacted us offering help and a British surgeon has expressed readiness to conduct the operation and we are now waiting for his arrival," he said, giving no names.