Little Girl Excited About Getting New Feet

Ziyan Abdou, 4, was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus or “water on the brain”. As an infant, she had surgery to remove the bubble on her spine and later on, another operation to correct her club feet. Before she was born it was discovered during her moms pregnancy that she would be born with these prognosis and the family did not know how severe it would be.

Spina bifida is part of a group of birth defects called neural tube defects. The neural tube is the embryonic structure that eventually develops into the baby’s brain and spinal cord and the tissues that enclose them.

Normally, the neural tube forms early in the pregnancy and closes by the 28th day after conception. In babies with spina bifida, a portion of the neural tube fails to develop or close properly, causing defects in the spinal cord and in the bones of the spine.

Hydrocephalus, from Greek words hydro-, meaning “water”, and cephalé, meaning “head”, is an abnormal accumulation of cerebrospinal fluid in the ventricles of the brain. This causes increased intracranial pressure inside the skull and may cause progressive enlargement of the head if it occurs in childhood, potentially causing convulsion, tunnel vision, and mental disability.

But despite her diagnosis, Zyian which name means “to protect”, has a beautiful outlook on life and her spirit reflects it.