Baby boy in Sharjah is world’s youngest to have brain aneurysm surgery

At just 59 days old, Suleiman Nil Suleiman a little Palestinian baby boy, has had two aneurysms removed.

Baby boy Suliman Nil Suliman was operated on for two aneurysms at Al Qassimi Hospital in Sharjah. Sarah Dea / The National
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SHARJAH // It was a rugged first 59 days for Suleiman Nil Suleiman and his Palestinian parents.

But thanks to the work of a skilled team at a Sharjah hospital, there are many more, brighter days ahead.

Suleiman has become the youngest person in the world to be treated for brain aneurysm, doctors at the hospital say.

“Since his birth he was sickly and often vomiting, but I thought I may be overfeeding him,” said Umm Suleiman.

“In the last week before we came to the hospital his condition had deteriorated and he was vomiting a lot and drowsy, so we went to a private hospital in Dubai. They called a doctor at Al Qassimi and asked us to come here.”

Suleiman was given a CT scan in Dubai before he was moved to Al Qassimi Hospital.

“Doctors here found two tissues that looked like tumours in the brain and there was also bleeding inside the brain and on the surface,” said Dr Satish Krishnan, a neurosurgeon at the hospital.

“We did more tests and also established that his haemoglobin was low, about four grams instead of the 15g of a normal baby. The mother told the doctors that for the last week the boy had not been doing well.”

Dr Krishnan said little Suleiman was put on a ventilator in an incubator the night he arrived. In the morning he was given a blood transfusion but his condition was still deteriorating, so doctors agreed emergency surgery was necessary.

“In the surgery it was like a big discovery – two aneurysms in the head of a 59 days old baby,” he said. An aneurysm is a blood-filled bulge in an artery or vein. It is mostly found in adults and can develop in other body parts, such as the abdomen, heart or kidney.

Dr Krishnan said one of Suleiman’s aneurysms was more than 7 centimetres long – as big as one found in an adult – although the other was smaller.

Suleiman will be monitored for the next six months to ensure he does not develop another aneurysm somewhere else in his little body.

Dr Krishnan said their patient was the youngest in the world to have gone through a brain aneurysm operation.

He said he had handled 60 aneurysm cases in the past four years, with the youngest 25 and the oldest 78. Most people he had helped were older than 40.

Umm Suleiman said she was delighted that her son was doing so well now. She said her son was giving her big smiles and starting to interact with her.

She also hoped the operation would be a turning point and Suleiman would go on to have a happy life.

Dr Krishnan urged residents to always report to the hospital when faced with neurophysical symptoms such as neck pains and double vision.

He said that without expert help, it was impossible to know if the symptoms were caused by life-threatening conditions such as aneurysms.

In Suleiman’s case, he said doctors suspected his condition to be congenital. Causes of aneurysms in adults include alcoholism, drug use, obesity and sometimes diabetes.

Suleiman, who has an older sister, aged 3, is in good condition and Dr Krishnan said he did not expect that to change.