Children’s Long Term Medical Support Update
October 26, 2010
Jonathan White and Minerva Fernando
Our Children’s Long Term Medical Treatment and Growth Hormone Projects continue with 6 children being treated to promote normal levels of growth and weight for their age. Each month the families are seen by Prof. Sujeewa Amarasena, Head of the Department of Pediatrics at the Karapitya Teaching Hospital in Galle, Sri Lanka. Real Medicine has also decided to contribute to each family’s travel expenses to visit the hospital for the children’s treatment as this was becoming more and more unaffordable for the families. Our program is providing a template to follow for others who wish to sponsor groups of children.
From left to right: Madumekala, Fazer, Madura and Tharindu
On the 21st of August 2010, 5 of our 6 children participated with their parents in a check-up and treatment session at the Karapitiya Hospital. This trip was a three month review/evaluation of the children’s progress.
Madumekala had not gained as much progress in her height as we had hoped in these past 6 months. She is now 16 years old; her bone age is that of a 15 year old. Her family continues to receive a food parcel to supplement the hormone treatment. Moving forward, Prof. Sujeewa, the treating physician, is in the process of evaluating treatment as aggressively as safe for Madumekala to achieve as much growth as possible in the remainder of the time left for her to reach a satisfactory adult height.
Sachini had started growth hormone therapy in 2007. In 2009, Sachini was diagnosed with a craniopharyngioma. Growth hormone therapy was temporarily stopped and the brain tumor was successfully removed; Sachini’s treatment was then continued. Her height after the surgery was 140.6cm and her weight was 25.5kg. She is now almost 20 years old; her height stayed the same but she gained weight and now weighs a healthier 37.3kg. Prof. Sujeewa is very satisfied with her progress and decided that no further hormone therapy was needed.
Madura (left) is now 13 years old and so far Prof. Sujeewa is pleased with his progress. Madura recently had an accident and he could not walk temporarily, but his parents had continued to obtain the growth hormone vials for his treatment. During the last visit to Karapitiya his parents were given a new Auto Injector by Baurs & Co. Madura will continue with the Growth Hormone Therapy until he is 16 years old.
Gayan is 14 years old and he studies in 5th grade. Gayan’s father is a farmer and has financial difficulties supporting his family. Because of Gayan’s low body weight, Prof. Sujeewa had recently prescribed an increase in the dosage of the growth hormone from 7 clicks of the auto-injector to 9 clicks per day. Gayan has grown in height with treatment but his weight is now the larger issue to be focused on.
Tharindu is now 18 years old and has been treated for hyperlipidemia since 2005. He has his blood profile taken every 3 months to check his cholesterol. Prof. Sujeewa is delighted with the latest results of his last blood work and his continuously low cholesterol levels. Tharindu is continuing to receive his medication every 3 months as well as a nutritious food parcel every month. As he lost his mother in the Tsunami, his aunt prepares his healthy fat free diet for him. Tharindu is also taking a course at the local Technical College in Tangalle and is maintaining regular exercise such as swimming and cycling.
Fazeer is 15 years old and is being treated for abnormally low height and weight. He used to live close to the clinic but is now in Bandarwela which is much further away. He has missed the last couple of visits due to the distance he has to travel and some family problems, but RMF has decided to subsidize his travel expenses so that he can restart his growth hormone therapy treatment. He is also given regular resupplies of an auto-injector so that he can be treated by family as well. We are hoping his height and weight will continue to improve now that he is attending more regularly.
Children's Growth Progress Chart