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Iraqi Infant Arrives in U.S. For Birth Injury Surgery


U.S. troops in Iraq discovered an Iraqi infant with severe birth defect when they conducted a raid on a home she was in last month. That baby arrived in Atlanta last month for medical treatment.

The baby was responsive and in good condition, a spokesman for Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta reported. He said it will probably be one more week before she will undergo surgery.

The three-month-old child left Baghdad in a military transport plane accompanied by her grandmother and father.

A translator at the airport in Atlanta translated the grandmother’s brief comments on their arrival at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. “She said they’re happy to be here.”

A New York Birth Injury Lawyer said that U.S. troops discovered the baby three weeks ago during the raid of a house in Abu Ghraib, a poverty-stricken district west of Baghdad. On inspection of the child, the soldiers noticed paralysis in the baby’s legs and what appeared to be a tumor on her back. They later learned the 3-month-old child had spina bifida, a birth defect in which the backbone and spinal cord do not close before birth. The “tumor” on the baby’s back was actually a fluid-filled sac containing part of the spinal cord and membranes that are supposed to cover the spinal cord. “Accounts of this type tug at heartstrings worldwide,” the lawyer said.

Photos were emailed to U.S. doctors as well as some medical information. A full evaluation, however, was necessary before attempting a surgery for one so small. A pediatric neurosurgeon agreed to take the case, saying, “I think the chances of her survival are good.”

Without additional medical care, the child is sure to die.

The child’s health care is to be provided for free, the neurosurgeon said. The surgery and accompanying care would cost about $200,000 if it were billed.

The soldiers are also to be praised for their role in getting the baby to the United States. A Georgia Senator also helped arrange the trip.

The child is likely to need one or two more months in the United States to complete the medical repairs and recovery before she will be able to return to Iraq. Child spring International, a faith-based children’s medical charity, has arranged for a family to host the grandmother and father while they are her in America. Hospitals in Staten Island or Westchester County would be happy to take the child.

The wonder of human compassion is witnessed marvelously in stories like these. Should your child need the same type of additional medical care as this young one and you don’t know where to turn, contact a New York Birth Injury Attorney.

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