Bangalore gifts Ugandan a second life

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Karnataka
Bangalore, July 25: 41 year old Ruth Lutalo Nakaziya had lost all hopes when doctors in Uganda said that her case of brain tumor was a critical one and cannot be cured. It all began 3 years ago with a toothache, which was subsided by a surgery. This was followed by a bulge under her eyes, which refused to go, despite numerous treatments for eye infections. 3 years rolled by and she still could not open her eyes, when the doctors suspected brain tumor. To add to her woes, doctors rued that they did not have the facilities to treat Nakaziya and was advised to go to Bangalore.

Getting feedbacks from others that few survived with this kind of a tumor, she was certain that this would be her last journey. After all, she had consulted a lot of neurosurgeons and all of them had told her that treatment was difficult. But, it was for the sake of her husband and her children that she clung on the last hope of recovery. She flew down to Bangalore with her husband on July 3 and was immideately admitted to the BGS Global Hospital.

Things took a different direction from here. She underwent a stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) that spans through four minutes, but reduces the size of the tumor to a considerable level. Dr Venkataramana N K, chief neurosurgeon and the vice-president of BGS Global hospital opine that this is a very advanced technology for non-invasive treatment of benign brain tumors.

"Nakaziya had progressive drooping of the eye lid, one-sided headaches and a problem of double vision. Her eyes were gradually protruding becasue of thhe position of the tumor around the nerves that connect to the right side of the brain. THis is the reason why her right side was getting affected. Furthermore, the tumor was located in a critical spot, which is why this technology was necessary," Venkataramana said.

Consultant radiation oncologist Dr J Mathangi explains,"through the SRS technique, X-rays are delivered through a radiotherapy device called Truebeam STX. SRS is a specialised technology which helps reach the tumor in the brain through three dimensional measurements and calculations. THis is done through a special instrument called the Stereotactic FRame, which gives coordinates to reach the target area. X-rays are then focused on the tumor without damaging the neighboring structures. The procedure involves delivery of a single, high dose of radiation to a small and critically located brain tissue, while keeping the skull intact all the while. The treatment lasts for only about four minutes."

Agrees Nakaziya, happy and recovering. "I had prepared for the worst and had willed my property to my family. I worked as an accountant and had left my job, assuming I would not live any longer. Now, I just can't wait to go back and hug my children, meet my family. I can't stop thanking the doctors here. I have got the greatest gift of a second life in the city," she said.

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