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Medical Mystery, 8-Year-Old Hussein Balhas From Lebanon Survives Rare Disease Against All Odds, and Looks for Hope and Solutions From American Doctors
Date:11/24/2008

Dr. John Shammas, plastic surgeon Dr. Paul Nassif, Dr. Joseph L. Demer of the Jules Stein Eye Institute, and Dr. Stephen E. Haddad of Ocular Prosthetics, Inc.

Most of the evaluating doctors now believe that Hussein suffers from Fraser's Syndrome, a rare disease that typically results in tumors, mutations, webbing of extremities and near certain death before age five. "He has survived the critical phase," said Michael Lloyd, an officer on the ACF Board of Directors. "Now he is here to fix everything that went wrong, or at least everything possible. And we won't rest until he has received all the medical treatment he deserves."

The evaluating doctors so far see no way to resuscitate Hussein's left eye. Even the most ambitious operations will not restore vision, nor even make this eye look normal. The best known hope lies in prosthetics, but even this will require unprecedented innovation. ACF has engaged the staff at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in conjunction with the International Children's Surgery Fund, directed by Greg Fontana, MD, to correct Hussein's other medical problems: hearing difficulties, syndactyly (fused digits), hypospadias, agenesis of one kidney and incomplete closure of the skull. A number of procedures and operations have been scheduled.

The ALO Cultural Foundation is dedicated to building stronger healthier communities through social investment, community outreach and education programs focusing on cultural exchange, women's empowerment, and youth mentoring programs, and other forms of philanthropy.

First his story must be told.

Hussein asks: "Why did God make me this way?" His case is one-in-a-million, but his question challenges all of us. We have the power to make a difference in this young man's life. How can we turn away from a boy who has miraculously survived death and wants nothing more than a semblance of normal life?


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SOURCE Unique Image Inc.
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