Vijayawada

A huge weight off their shoulders

Back on feet: Aliya Saleem with her mother Shabnam Parveen and surgeon K. Ravikanth.   | Photo Credit: CH_VIJAYA BHASKAR

Aliya Saleem shot into fame on the social media when a video on her becoming 35 kg at just 10-months-old went viral in 2015. Two-and-half years later, over 70 million (70,037,929) had seen the video on YouTube.

But there was little help from millions of viewers to the little girl whose life was in danger. But parents who became aware of YouTube found a solution to their daughter’s problem through it.Her father Mohammad Saleem, a tailor in Pirwatand village of Jharkhand, learnt about Vijayawada-based metabolic surgeon Ravikanth Kongara, again on YouTube and brought his daughter here for treatment after trying hospitals in New Delhi and Ranchi.

Aliya’s parents saw videos of other overweight children Yamini and Chinna treated by Dr Ravikanth and came all the way from Jharkhand for treatment.

Leptin deficiency

Dr. Ravikanth performed metabolic surgery on Aliya in December and in just four months she lost 13 kg. Doctors earlier thought that Aliya suffered from Prader-Willi Syndorme, but Dr. Ravikanth said it was Leptin (hormone) deficiency that was the child’s constant hunger and obesity. “Aliya’s sister Simran died when she was two-years-old with the same genetic disorder. Aliya too was highly unstable when she was brought to Vijayawada. Her condition began to improve only after the surgery,” he said.

Performing of a bariatric surgery on a two-and-half -year old infant is a formidable achievement, say paediatricians. Paediatrician Yalamanchilli Sandhya said, “10-month-old infants weigh between 7.5 kg and 8.5 kg and a three-year-old child weighed between 13 kg and14 kg.” Aliya would be of normal weight if she lost another 7 kg or 8 kg.

Aliya who could not even sit because of the weight can now walk with a little bit of help from her mother.

Dr. Ravikanth was in the news when he gave a new lease of life to a 215-kg patient by helping him shed 145 kg. Several procedures including the cutting of loose skin had to be performed to achieve the medical feat.

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Printable version | Nov 28, 2020 3:12:16 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Vijayawada/a-huge-weight-off-their-shoulders/article23470780.ece

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