15 year old Mohammed should have been born with a pair of boxing gloves! From the time he was born he needed to put up a fight. He was born two months early, and to top being premature, he decided to come out bottom first! It must have been quite a pull, or the birth attendant may not have been very comfortable with a breach delivery, because the entire process resulted in both some trauma to his spine and him refusing to breathe for a long time.

The lack of oxygen to his brain and some trauma to his spine resulted in this lovely young boy having a lot of disability to struggle with as a child. He struggled to walk normally and his legs were too weak to hold his body up properly. The nerves to the bladder and his intestine were damaged and this caused him to continually leak urine and stool.

His mother managed his incontinence with nappies for years, but after three bad urinary tract infections in Bangladesh, a friend suggested they come to CMC hospital in India. It was a struggle to arrange the visa and passport to come – but once they did, they were glad they had made the effort.

His doctors at CMC told him that he would need help since he was unable to empty his bladder in the normal way – his kidneys had swollen up threatening to cause lifelong irreversible kidney damage. They reassured him that he could easily manage emptying his bladder and not soiling himself, if he learnt to give himself enemas and to keep himself clean. He was taught how to empty his bladder with a tube and given medicines to relax his bladder which made a remarkable improvement to his quality of life.

Mohammed proudly shows off his surgery

Mohammed proudly shows off his surgery

He came back to Vellore a year later – better, but still leaking urine far too often for his mum to manage emptying his bladder. After a few more tests, it was decided that his bladder needed to be enlarged. The operation was a major one that required Mohammed to stay in the hospital for about a month. A part of his intestine was stitched to his bladder to enlarge it and make him dryer for longer periods of time. A small channel from the new bladder was made to and hidden in his tummy button so he could easily empty his bladder himself if he went to school or at work later in life.

His mum is delighted – she was most worried about how her son would manage once she grew older. Now he will be able to manage himself without being dependent on others. The family are thankful that they came to CMC, because there are no doctors in Bangladesh who were trained to look after Mohammed with these procedures. He still has a long way to go, but he is on the right track!

Mohammed still has difficulty walking normally. His mobility and quality of life would greatly improve with the attention of an occupational therapist.