The 7-year-old Indian boy’s remarkably large belly startled many.

   

Shahanur Alam’s stomach has protruded so much he is now deemed immobile. The swelling was caused by bilateral pleural effusion – an inflammatory condition.

As a result of the heavy mass, he is unable to walk and throws up food every time. Doctors have said the only way to keep him alive will be through £2,400 surgery.

An Indian couple are hoping for a miracle to save the life of their adopted son – whose stomach has bloated to the size of two footballs.

Shahanur Alam, seven, is so skinny that just his bones are visible, but his stomach has protruded so much that he is now immobile.

The swelling was triggered by bilateral pleural effusion – an inflammatory condition which causes a large build-up of fluid.

As a result of the heavy mass, he is unable to walk and throws up food every time he attempts to eat, local reports state.

Doctors have said the only way to keep him alive will be through surgery – but it will cost the poverty-stricken couple £2,400.

Shamela and her husband Salim-ud-Din, who make ends meet by pulling carts, are urging the Government to come forward and save the life of their only son.

Shahanur Alam, seven, is so skinny that just his bones are visible, but his stomach has protruded so much that he is now immobile

Indian boy who has belly the size of TWO FOOTBALLS seeks help

She said: ‘He is in extreme pain. He cannot even take steps because of the weight of his stomach.

‘He does not eat full meals. We forcefully feed him rice but he throws up every time. Look at him, he is just bones and no flesh.

‘His stomach is growing bigger and bigger and we fear if he does not get any help, we will lose him soon.’

Salim-ud-Din added: ‘The time is ticking away. We understand we can lose him anytime if he does not get operated on soon.

‘We have no money but we are hoping that government and people will extend their help to save our child.’

When did his symptoms begin?

The couple, from Barpeta in Assam, had adopted Alam when he was just seven-months-old.

As a result of the heavy mass, he is unable to walk and throws up food every time he attempts to eat, local reports state

Doctors have said the only way to keep him alive will be through £2,400 surgery. Shamela and her husband Salim-ud-Din (left and middle) are urging the Government to come forward and save the life of their only son

A pleural effusion is a build-up of fluid in the lining of the lungs. It can be a symptom of cancer.

The pleura has two layers and produces fluid that helps the lungs move when we breathe.

Sometimes cancer cells spread to the pleura, causing fluid to build up and press on the lungs, causing breathlessness.

A patient will normally have a chest x-ray or ultrasound scan to diagnose a pleural effusion. Other tests may be carried out.

To treat a pleural effusion, the fluid has to be slowly drained. This is usually done by putting a tube into the chest through a small cut.

If the fluid builds up again, the patient will need to have it drained more than once. A drain may be left in place to collect fluid.

To stop the fluid from building up again, chemotherapy or hormonal therapy may be needed to treat the cancer.

The couple, who also have a biological daughter, said their son was a healthy baby and they were very happy to have him.

But things changed two years ago when Alam complained to his parents of intense pain in his abdomen.

While at first they brushed it off as an infection at first, the couple soon realised their son had a bigger problem as his stomach started growing abnormally.

The doctors referred the child to other hospitals but none of the local doctors could diagnose his condition.

Instead, they sent the parents back home with medication to reduce his pain – but they had no effect on the swelling.

As time went by Alam’s condition kept deteriorating. He stopped going to school as walking was painful and lost weight because of undernourishment.

The desperate parents sold off all their belongings and took him to an advanced hospital in another state for diagnosis.

There, doctors conducted tests and found he had a build-up of fluid in his abdomen and sludge in gall bladder that had thickened the wall.

They told Salim and his wife that the only way possible to save their son would be an operation but that would cost £2,400.

Shamela added: ‘We had no money for the operation so we brought him back home.

‘We have already exhausted all our savings and spend £20-30 a month on his medicines.’

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