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Life-saving surgery for baby with swollen head brings parents joy, relief

Sajjad Hussain / AFP - Getty Images

Doctors prepare Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, for surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon, near New Delhi, on May 15, 2013.

Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images

Roona Begum's parents Abdul Rahman and Fatima Khatun wait in anticipation as their daughter is taken for an MRI exam at a hospital in Gurgaon on April 17, 2013.

Doctors carried out life-saving surgery Wednesday on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, in a case that aroused sympathy worldwide.

"The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected," neurosurgeon Sandeep Vaishya said after carrying out a procedure to drain fluid from the head of 15-month-old Roona Begum, who was born with hydrocephalus.

The condition had caused Roona's head to swell to a circumference of 38 inches, putting pressure on her brain and making it impossible for her to sit upright or crawl.

"My wife and I were both so worried this morning," said Roona's father, 18-year-old Abdul Rahman. "But now when the doctor says everything went well, I feel hugely relieved."

 

Arindam Dey / AFP - Getty Images

Fatima Khatun kisses the head of her daughter, Roona Begum, at their mud hut in Jirania village, Tripura, on April 13, 2013. Roona's father, Abdul Rahman, told AFP at the time that he was praying for "a miracle" to save his only child.

Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images

Roona Begum is wheeled to an operating room moments before she had a drain valve in her head changed at a hospital in Gurgaon on May 2, 2013. Publication of pictures taken by an AFP photographer prompted the hospital, run by the private Fortis Healthcare group, to offer to treat Roona for free.

Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images

Roona Begum's father caresses the arm of his daughter moments after she was brought out of the operating theater after doctors changed a drain valve on May 2, 2013.

Sajjad Hussain / AFP - Getty Images

Doctors prepare Roona Begum for surgery on May 15, 2013.

Sajjad Hussain / AFP - Getty Images

Roona Begum's parents greet her after surgery on May 15, 2013.

Roberto Schmidt / AFP - Getty Images

Roona Begum's mother sits with her daughter at a hospital in Gurgaon on April 17, 2013.

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AFP Correspondent blog: A new life for baby Roona

Hope for girl born with hair covering half her face