Doctors at Dhaka Medical College Hospital (DMCH) have finally identified the mysterious illness afflicting Muktamoni, an 11-year-old girl from Kamarbaisa village in Satkhira sadar upazila.
DMCH Burn and Plastic Surgery unit Coordinator Dr Samant Lal Sen on Sunday told the Bangla Tribune that initial tests indicate the illness is lymphatic malformation.
The affliction has resulted in a malignant growth on Muktamoni's right arm, rendering her bedridden for the last two years.
“Earlier, we thought she was stricken ill by any of four skin conditions: dermal vascular malformation, lymphatic malformation, neurofibromatosis, and congenital hyperkeratosis. But, after several tests, it has now been revealed that she has been affected by lymphatic malformation, a congenial disease,” Samant said.
Lymphatic malformation is a rare condition where non-malignant masses form consisting of fluid-filled channels or spaces thought to be caused by the abnormal development of the lymphatic system. The disease is usually apparent at birth or by two years of age and can affect any area of the body except the brain, he said, adding that lymphatic malformation afflicted her after one-and-a-half years of her birth.
An eight-member medical board was formed on July 11 for Muktamoni’s treatment.
Describing their treatment methods, the doctor said: “Blood flow in her body has reduced to such a serious degree that doctors are facing difficulties while taking blood samples from her for tests and diagnoses. She has been administered with three bags of blood and plasma and is being given a specialised diet from the hospital.”
“In the last few days, we have conducted a number of tests including CT scan, MRI and ultrasonography. The remaining tests will be conducted tomorrow [Monday] after we receive the reports of blood and urine tests. The reports we have hitherto received are positive. We will decide on treatment once we receive all the remaining reports,” Dr Samant added.
Asked how much time it would take for Muktamonu to fully recover, the doctor replied: “The treatment will not be so easy since it is a long-term disease.”
Previously, a paediatrician at a Khulna hospital had said it was a case of bone cancer. A second doctor at Queen’s Hospital in Jessore diagnosed her with a blood tumour (hemangioma). The treatment prescribed by both doctors only aggravated Muktamoni’s condition.
Her parents were on the verge of giving up due to the lack of answers and heavy medical expenses, when Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina took responsibility for her treatment on July 11, granting her a fresh hope of recovery.
Samant claimed that Muktamoni’s arm would not have deformed in such a severe manner had she had been treated on time.