Chit (hydrocephalus)

Chit was delivered prematurely with a Traditional Birth Attendant (TBA) at his family’s home. When he was 5 days old, he had jaundice and was not sucking well. His family took him to the hospital in Myawaddy but the hospital had no electricity so they took him to Mae Sot Hospital on the Thai side of the border. He was admitted for one week and given phototherapy treatment (put under a light) for his neonatal jaundice. When he was one month old, his mother noticed that Chit’s head appeared to be unusual. His parents took him to a clinic in Myawaddy where they were informed that Chit had a ‘big head’ and it that it was difficult to treat. The doctor told them to take Chit to the Mae Tao Clinic (on the Thai side of the border).

Chit’s mother was familiar with the Mae Tao Clinic as she had previously taken her other children there when they were sick (Chit has three older siblings). Chit’s father works as a farmer and grows beans to sell in the market. Chit’s older brother and sister are able to go to school and his 3-year-old brother stays at home with Chit and his mother.

Chit’s mother hopes her youngest son will get better – she is worried he will be developmentally delayed. She is scared and worried to watch his head getting bigger and bigger as the days go on. They have been told that children with big heads will not be able to work and will only be able to lie down on the bed. She hopes that he can get the treatment he needs.

Chit came onto the BCMF program when he was two months old (in January 2010). He went to Chiang Mai with his mother at the end of January 2010 and stayed there for over two months receiving treatment for hydrocephalus.

Chit had an operation to put a shunt in on 17 February 2010. He needed to stay in the intensive care unit (ICU) for 10 days before he underwent further surgery. He recovered well and was soon breastfeeding again. His mother says that Chiang Mai was a very different experience to their village. The doctors and nurses were very good and very friendly as was the translator.

Since the surgery, Chit does not appear to be in any pain. Before the operation he used to cry a lot and now he very rarely cries at all. His mother is very happy he had the operation though she is still concerned that she will have to take extra good care of him. Having listened to him cry often since he was born, Chit’s mother is not used to that fact that Chit no longer cries from pain. This was worrying for her at first. She goes on to say that she would like to send Chit to school when he is older enough even though she is worried about him appearing ‘abnormal’ to the other children.

NOTE: In June 2011, Chit’s father was killed in eastern Burma when the public vehicle he was travelling in was caught in the cross-fire between two armed groups. READ MORE…