LIFE

Baby Born In India With Swollen Head Miraculously Defies The Odds

by Barbara Diamond
Barbara is a passionate writer and animal lover who has been professionally blogging for over 10 years and counting.

In April 2013, a photographer named Arindam Deywas wandered into a village in Tripura, a hilly state in northeast India.

There, Deywas was shocked to discover Roona Begum, an 18-month-old baby girl whose head was three times its normal size. Deeply impacted by this poor child, Deywas got to know Roona and her parents and took intimate photos of the family.

Roona was born with hydrocephalus, a potentially fatal illness that results in a build-up of water on the brain. Among many things, Roona was unable to sit upright or crawl. When she was born, local doctors told her parents to take her to a private hospital, but Roona’s 18-year-old father was a poor, illiterate day laborer.

He simply could not afford the medical treatment his daughter so desperately needed. Day in and day out, he constantly prayed for a miracle.

Deywas shared his incredible photos of Roona with publications around the world. Roona and her parents never expected what came next…

Roona Begum was born with hydrocephalus, a potentially fatal illness that results in a build-up of water on the brain.

In April 2013, Roona was discovered in a village in Tripura, India by photographer Arindam Dey. He was stunned and touched by Roona, whose condition had caused her head to swell three times its normal size and made it impossible for her to live life as a normal 18-month-old child.

At the time, Roona’s father was 18. He was a poor and illiterate day laborer who could not afford the medical treatment advised by local doctors.

With nowhere to go and no one to turn to, Roona’s parents constantly prayed for a miracle.

Arindam Dey promptly shared his photographs of Roona with newspapers around the world.

These photos resulted in an outpouring of worldwide support and financial donors for her and her family. In fact, an online campaign raised $62,000!

Roona was finally able to begin treatment, which involved the surgical drainage of cerebrospinal fluid away from the brain.

After nearly 10 surgeries, Roona’s head has gone from 37 to 23 inches in circumference.

These days, her parents describe her as a playful and giggly child. She is able to hold her head up and even communicate in short syllables.

In 2014, the now five-year-old little girl smiled for the very first time. Doctors are shocked that Roona has outlived her initial prognosis of just a couple months.

People across the world are now following Roona’s story, praying she receives the care needed to continue her recovery. Her mother Fatima and father Abdul hope she will one day get to go to school.

If you’d like to learn more or donate to Roona and her family, click here.

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