Dec 27, 2016

Gradually Recovering, Sudden Infection Caused Sudden Death

The baby girl of this case had a bitter life. Since birth, she had been suffering from a lot of illnesses. She could not see and never saw the world. One day, due to sudden bacterial infection, her short life was ended overnight.

Patient’s parents had cared for her meticulously and I had treated her carefully. Her body gradually recovered and we were full of positive expectations. Her sudden departure made me very sad. In about a year of treatment, she and I had established a bonding. When writing this medical case, I could still vividly remember every bit of it and couldn’t help but sigh.

When patient first came to my clinic, she was close to two years old. She was so small she looked like the size of a seven or eight-month-old baby. Her skull development was abnormal, the top was pointed and slanted backwards. Her complexion was green, dark and gray, without any luster. She often drooled. Her left hand fingers were clenched and were not able to straighten. Her right hand kept moving. She repeatedly turned her head left and right. Her eyes lacked spark, crossed and not focused, like a blind person. Her eyes kept moving left and right. When her eyes moved to the right, her left eye would roll inward, showing all white. It was the same when her eyes moved to the left. She did not move much when sitting in her father’s arms, giggled sometimes and the head kept turning left and right slowly.

Cranial deformity, could not see

Patient’s mother gave birth to her at the age of twenty-eight. Few days before she was due, the fetal heart rhythm was abnormal, there was no ups and downs so the obstetrician used stimulants to accelerate the birth. When the baby was ready to come out, the head was too large. It was originally decided to use a suction pump but was finally delivered through caesarean section. It took quite a while before she started crying. She was immediately transferred to the intensive care unit. It was confirmed that she was suffering from jaundice and needed a whole day of light therapy. It was also found out that she had a lot of intracranial water accumulated and had to go through three operations. Doctors needed to install in her head a shunt to lead the water to the abdominal cavity. Her forehead was caved while both sides protruded. She had had a number of orthopedic surgery and her little head was full of scars. The rear bone of her head was a little higher, which looked like she was wearing a hat, it was very unnatural.

Western medicine examination results indicated that patient’s hearing was normal, however, the retina seemed to have no blood vessels and she could not see anything. She was tiny and weak. She had to drink milk and supplement with folic acid and vitamin pills. She liked chocolate and if given food she did not like, she would resist. Her teeth appeared greyish and uneven on the top that looked jagged. Her left body rarely moved and her left hand clenched, like the symptom of a stroke of the elderly. Her hands, feet and face would twitch and she had taken anti-convulsive drugs. I asked her father to put her on the table to examine the body and feet reaction. I scratched her feet and she contracted. Her mother said that her daughter’s right hand had tremor before, like Parkinson’s symptoms.

My initial assessment was that clots in patient’s brain had caused damages in the nerves and the tremor. The pituitary gland was also affected, resulting in growth hormone deficiency, affecting her development. I took a lot of photos for the baby, including her gaze, head rotation, eyeball activities, etc., for later comparison. Patient often vomited when she took her medicine and would vomit the milk at the same time. I suggested the parents come to my clinic and learn how to feed the medicine. The baby resisted a little at first, then suddenly spit out the medicine, together with some milk and a piece of thick sputum. It immediately dawned on me that it was because of sputum accumulated in the throat, causing her difficulties swallowing. I remembered that some stroke patients had to clear their throat before eating. In addition, after taking the medicine, the baby had to spit out a lot of sticky sputum at night. All along, the reason the baby did not make any sound when crying or screaming was that there was sputum in her throat. Once that problem was solved, feeding the medicine could be done quickly. When I looked at her left hand, her fingers could open and were not constantly bent anymore. Even after taken only little medication in the past few days, we saw good results.

The first voice, a major breakthrough

After a few treatments, patient’s gaze was not scattered like a blind person anymore. I believed that blood was able to flow to the retina, the baby could possibly see something and there might be a chance she could see again. Sitting in her mother’s arms, her head turned left and right faster than before, indicated that the brain nerves were transmitting signal at a faster speed. That was a very good phenomenon. At the third follow-up visit, the baby began to make a few sound, a big breakthrough. The time her eyes showing all white had reduced. I told her mother that she did not need any physical therapy, as long as the clots in the brain continued to be discharged, all would automatically recover. Due to her weak heart and lungs, patient would easily inhale the moisture in the air, which accumulated into phlegm, causing difficulties eating. In order to make it easier for her to eat and take the medicine, I made two suggestions. One was to insert a tube through the nose into the stomach to inject food and medication. Second was to insert the tube through a tiny hole in the abdomen into the stomach. I would not recommend the second method because it could cause inflammation easily and I hoped the parents would consider the first option so the baby could eat more sooner to strengthen her body and accelerate recovery.

I told patient’s mother that due to congenital disabilities and surgical problems, patient would inevitably reveal many problems, may be like an autistic child, with developmental impairment and hearing problem. Since she had stroke symptoms, it would take a long time to recover completely. Her condition was worse than autistic children.

At the sixth follow-up visit, patient’s urine samples began to appear deep blackish brown, dark red brown, dark red, etc. There was a lot of uric acid precipitation, liver cell tissue, cholesterol precipitation and transparent crystals, etc. The blood stasis in the liver was gradually discharged. Patient drank more milk and the amount of defecation had also increased. She started babbling, making baby sound. She still vomited when she took her medicine so I suggested that she first took just the milk, if she vomited, it would be only the milk, then fed her the medicine. This way, the medicine would not be wasted. Her left hand fingers still buckled, but would straighten once in a while, then bent again, showing that her fingers had the ability to move.

By the eighth follow-up visit, patient could constantly make sound, a drastic change. She couldn’t stop ‘talking’ and her parents felt so pleased hearing it. Before she came to me, she did not say a word, only once when she was born and once when she was 4 months old. Not until two weeks before this visit, she began to make some more sounds. Before, her tongue was always fixed to the upper jaw, a phenomenon of a spasm. It had now been released, so it was easier for her to make sound. After taking the medicine, patient sweated a lot, like she had taken a bath, the whole body was soaked. I told her parents that it was best to finish the medicine in ten minutes for better effect, however, it usually took her half an hour to complete, diminishing the effect of the medicine.

When I observed patient’s eyes, her eyeballs were steady sometimes, but most of the time they moved from left to right constantly although the amount had obviously reduced on the whole. The times they showed all white was also rare. Her parents had brought her to the optical technician to examine her vision, they thought she could see and reacted to a few colors. I was confident that once the retinal obstruction was removed, her vision would be restored. Her parents also took her to a visual correction center for the blind, hoping that would also help strengthen her vision. After only four months of treatment, everything was improving steadily, her appetite increased, weight gained and drooling reduced. One time, she even cried loudly with tears at home, the first time that had ever happened.

Physical improvement, heart and lungs strengthened

Based on my observation of patient’s limbs, she could remain stable sitting on a chair. Her waist, neck, arms and legs were all strong. She could balance her body with the support of one arm. Her left hand movement had increased and her head turning left and right had reduced. At the physical therapy center, the therapist had noticed continuous progress with her. After exercise, her head would be very hot. One time when pressed the accupoint of her two ears, she screamed and cried, indicating strong heart and lungs. Her grandmother had cut her nails for her and found that they grew faster and harder, indicating that development had improved.

At the twenty-ninth follow-up visit, patient’s left forearm had red dots and there were blisters on her right armpit. I believed it was a result of liver detoxification, similar to shingles, it appeared along the nerve. At the thirty-fifth follow-up visit, her tongue had become flexible, she could extend and move it up and down, indicating that left brain stasis had been removed and she should be able to speak. Her left hand also showed more movements than before and her eye movements became more and more normal with more spark.

Although patient had been so weak, to take care of her I believed her parents had been physically and mentally exhausted but they never stopped trying to find any possible additional treatments for her. They had sent her to a brain massage therapy. According to the therapist, patient’s brain fluid circulation seemed to be enhanced. This might be the effect of my Chinese medicine, which helped restore brain function. At the forty-second follow-up visit, patient’s mother told me that she would suddenly twitch, and then stopped. I explained that it was because her daughter’s heart was strengthened and was able to push through the blockages, resulting in a random action.

Regarding when someone called, patient had shown reaction, for example, one day in the clinic, when a waiting patient called her name, she immediately made a sound and turned around to respond, an obvious improvement in hearing. When she was at school with other children, she would make a lot of sound and even cry loudly. It seemed that the strength of her heart was gradually increasing and she had more energy.

After almost a year of treatment, patient had progressed well. She often smiled and could say quite a few monophonic words. Her head and eye rotation had gradually reduced and I thought she would slowly recover. At the sixtieth follow-up visit, there were two big blisters, like a scald, on patient’s right arm for no reason. One of the blisters had burst. Without any expectation, in the morning of 22 December, 2007, patient had to be rushed to the hospital for an emergency treatment. Unfortunately, she passed away. The cause of death was claimed to be bacterial infection. It was so sudden I was shocked. After more than a year our effort had been in vain. Life is full of surprises, good or bad. I guess we’ll just have to rely on God’s plan. May my little patient rest in peace. The patient was treated from 21 October 2006 to 21 December 2007, a total of one year and two months and sixty-one visits.

By Dr. Au Sik Kee

Dec 27, 2016

Medical record number: 061021

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