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Surgery offers hope for baby born without stomach muscles
Irina Crete (28), from Harrow in London, was shocked when her son, Albert, was born with extremely wrinkly skin on his stomach.
Baby Albert (PHOTO: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA)
Source

A doting mother hopes ab transplant surgery will help her two-months-old baby who was born without tummy muscles due to a rare disease.

Irina Crete (28), from Harrow in London, was shocked when her son, Albert, was born with extremely wrinkly skin on his stomach.

“When I was pregnant they told us there were problems and suggested we terminate the pregnancy,” Irina says.

“But because they couldn’t tell us exactly what was wrong and because I desperately wanted my son, I ignored their advice.

“When he was born his body was covered in wrinkles – he looked more like an old man than a day-old baby.”

At four days old little Albert was diagnosed with Prune-Belly syndrome – a rare disorder characterised by partial or complete absence of the stomach (abdominal) muscles, according to Rare Diseases.

“The moment he was born he was rushed into intensive care and was left there for more than a month,” Irina says.

“The problem is that his syndrome can change very quickly – one day he can be absolutely fine and the next he can be at death’s door.”

As a result of his condition the two-month-old also suffers from kidney disease, recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), bloating and constipation.

Irina is now trying to raise £55 000 (about R954 000) for pioneering surgery in America that will transfer muscles from her son’s thigh into his abdominal wall, and has asked the public for donations.

“The surgery is going to take muscle from his thigh and transplant it into his abs, giving him the muscles that he’s missing,” she explains.

“This will help with his digestion and respiratory function and hopefully eradicate all the other problems he’s faced because of the condition.”

Despite being told that Albert was likely to encounter health problems, Irina claims she was never told exactly what was going to be wrong with her little boy.

Since being told her son’s diagnosis she’s fought tirelessly to find solutions so her son could have a more stable life.

“After doing research into his condition and ways to help him lead a normal life, I discovered he could have surgery to give him the abs he wasn’t born with,” she says.

“But the surgery is done only in the US at the moment as his condition is very rare, and the surgery even rarer.

“As soon as I realised there was surgery available I had no other option but to get him over there.”

Source: Magazine Features

Pictures: CATERS/WWW.MAGAZINEFEATURES.CO.ZA

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