A second child has been found in Sattahip suffering from “elephant man” syndrome, but, unlike his older neighbor, 16-month-old “Nong Game” may not find a savior in time to save his life.
Nathakorn Sae-Chua, just 16 months old, was hospitalized Jan. 5 after his condition worsened. Suffering from hydrocephalus since birth, the toddler’s 68 cm. skull has become infected with pressure ulcers and the buildup of cerebrospinal fluid is causing headaches and blindness.
Nathakorn’s parents Pradit Ootun and Phanida Sae-Chua are too poor to pay hospital bills, so they try to tend to him with over-the-counter medication and home remedies.
Sattahip District Chief Chaichan Iamcharoen, his wife Nitaya and Sattahip Sub-district President Radjai Banthisilp visited the stricken child at Sattahip Km. 10 Hospital, offering cash and gifts to support “Nong Game,” the second hydrocephalus case to come to light in the past month. The media and residents took public officials to task after the first case, claiming they didn’t offer enough support.
In that case, 31-month-old Nopakorn Oumprasert had been sent home more than a year ago by Km. 10 hospital doctors, telling parents Amporn and Pramod Oumprasert that they should accept their child was going to die, despite the fact treatment for “water on the brain” exists.
Like the Oumpraserts, Nathakorn’s parents Pradit Ootun and Phanida Sae-Chua are too poor to pay hospital bills. Pradit, 43, is a construction worker while Phanida stays home to tend to “Nong Game” and his healthy twin brother Nathakit.
Living just two kilometers from the Oumpraserts, Nathakorn’s parents also appealed to the media, hoping publicity might bring them a benefactor, as was the case for Nopakorn.
American doctor Howard Resnick, 73, came forward Dec. 30 to place Nopakorn in Bangkok Hospital Pattaya and cover all treatment costs. Resnick, a professor at Rajamangala University of Technology Krung Thep, said he didn’t understand Thai doctors’ decision to let the child die, as there is a treatment method – albeit a very expensive one – for hydrocephalus. In a surgical procedure, doctors implant internal cerebral shunts to continually drain excess cerebrospinal fluid.
Nathakorn’s condition is exacerbated not only by his age, but the infected ulcers on his scalp. His parents said the child spends his days in his room in a run-down home on Soi Sattahip Sukhumvit 45. Because his skull weighs 10 kg., the child cannot lift it and he is too heavy to hold for long periods, Pradit said.
The baby had been hospitalized for four months at Sattahip Km. 10. But after doctors drilled holes in the child’s skull to drain the fluid, they sent him home, saying nothing more could be done. Since then, Nathakorn’s parents have tended to him with over-the-counter medication and home remedies.
Chaichan said he has ordered authorities to tend to the cases of both hydrocephalus boys. However, more donations are needed for the little one.
Those interested in helping can donate to Nathakorn’s account at Thanachart Bank, account number 404-2-15662-5 or call 088-886-0192.