A three-month-old baby in India's Jharkhand has been dubbed as an "alien" child because he is suffering from a rare condition that sees his head grow three times the size of a normal baby's head.
Ankit Minj is reportedly suffering from a rare condition called hydrocephalus wherein fluid builds-up inside his skull which could be extremely dangerous, Daily Mail reports. Ankit's head weighs about 5.5lbs (2.5kg) and is 27 inches in circumference. Doctors describe it as an "extreme case."
The child has undergone a surgery and is currently fighting for life. It has been reported that doctor inserted a shunt into his brain and removed some of the CSF fluid. This has stopped further damage to his brain.
In the case of Hydrocephalus, cerebrospinal fluid is built-up in the brain and the excessive pressure leads to damage brain tissues. Symptoms like headache, nausea, vomiting, confusion and problems with vision (for example, blurred or double vision) hint the possibility of Hydrocephalus and it could be treated with a shunt.
Ankit was taken to Rajendra Institute of Medical Sciences (RIMS) in Ranchi where the shunt was inserted four days after he was admitted.
Talking about the case, Dr Anil Kumar, head of neurosurgery, at RIMS, said, "He has come to us very late which is why his head has grown to such a large size. We have inserted a shunt into his brain to stop further damage to the brain. The chances of his skull reducing to a normal size are not very positive but we can stop any further damage with the help of a shunt," Daily Mail reported.
A thin tube is inserted into the brain that drains out the excessive CSF from the head and channelled into another part of the body where it can be absorbed into the bloodstream. The most common path it is channelled to is the space around the bowel.
Though the surgery has been performed, the doctors still do not proclaim that Ankit is out of danger. "This shunt will relieve pressure on the brain caused by fluid accumulation. We cannot say if he's out of danger yet. We would need to see him regularly to check if the shunt is working properly and there's no infection," Dr Anil explained.
While the doctors are trying their best to save Ankit, the child's parents Anjali (25) and Anil (29) fear that their newborn might not survive. "We have been told his skull will slowly get smaller. But I still fear for his life. He is so small, I wish I could do something to save his life," the father said.
While Anjali faced no complications during pregnancy, Ankit was said to be born with a larger than normal head. "I didn't have an ultrasound during the pregnancy as we do not have a lot of facilities in our village. But doctors said my baby was normal after touching my stomach and feeling its movements," she said.
"People show sympathy towards him and some pass weird comments but everyone just stares. My son is not an alien, just another human being like others. He does not deserve to be stared at like this. I want him to be cured as soon as possible," she added.