11-year-old Gamal Allaham of Bethlehem, who suffered from a benign tumor in the hypothalamus that caused him uncontrollable fits of laughter and severe seizures, received advanced brain surgery at the Ichilov hospital in Tel Aviv and was cured of his severe condition.
Gamal had to be confined to his home due to his seizures, detached from friends and unable to take part in social activities. The hospitals in the Palestinian Authority (PA) were unable to cure him due to his unique disorder.
However, his family heard about brain surgery at Ichilov that may help him, and humanitarian cooperation between Israel and the PA brought Gamal to Tel Aviv for the treatment.
The surgery at Ichilov uses lasers to disconnect the tumor from the rest of the brain, precisely targeting the area causing the seizures without harming other brain functions.
In a long and complicated surgery, surgeons Dr. Ido Strauss and Prof. Itzhak Fried from the Functional Neurosurgery Unit and Dr. Shimrit Uliel, from the Pediatric Epilepsy unit, were able to transplant an optic fiber deep into the tumor center and cut it off from the rest of the brain.
A month after the surgery, Gamal’s life has changed dramatically. The outbursts of uncontrollable laughter have ceased entirely. For the first time in years, Gamal has been able to return to school with his friends.
Gamal’s father thanked the hospital staff for the surgery, which he said made an immense change in his son’s life.
“Thank you very much to the Israeli doctors who brought my child back to life. He no longer suffers from seizures; we got our son back. I have no words to thank the staff for the care we received, which completely changed our lives. Thank you,” he said.