30 July 2008

PR# 2008-355

Afghan, American doctors save
10-year-old girl’s life

KABUL, Afghanistan - Afghan and American surgeons working together July 24 saved the life of Tourpekai, a 10-year-old girl.

Dr. Hamid Rahmani, from Farah Hospital, and U.S. Army Captain (Dr.) Patrick McGraw, a surgeon with Farah Provincial Reconstruction Team, performed the surgery with the assistance of Aref, an anaesthetist with Farah Hospital. When the surgery was completed, they had removed a 10-pound tumour from Tourpekai’s abdomen.

“That tumour weighed 10 percent of the girl’s body weight,” Captain McGraw said.

Tourpekai’s family grew desperate when their daughter stopped eating and drinking, and had constant pain. The family began to search for help. When they arrived at the gates to Farah PRT, Captain McGraw knew he was the girl’s final chance.

“If we didn’t do something to help her out, she would have died in a few weeks from starvation and malnutrition,” he said.

Dr. Rahmani and Captain McGraw took X-rays and gave Tourpekai an ultrasound scan, which showed a solid mass in her abdomen. The tumour had filled all available abdominal space and was constricting blood flow through Tourpekai’s aorta. The doctors knew they had to either reduce the tumour’s size or remove it entirely to save her life.

“Luckily, we were able to completely remove it,” Captain McGraw said.

Tourpekai is now eating, drinking and recovering at the ISAF medical centre. Her family wakes at 3 a.m. each morning to begin the long trip to the medical centre to see their daughter.

“I was compelled to bring her to Farah PRT to see what they could do for her,” said Kimia, Tourpekai’s mother. “Now she is quite fine. Now she is getting healthy.”

Captain McGraw is planning to send the tumour to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for further studies.

Contact Information ISAF Public Affairs Office
Tel: +93 (0)799 51 1155 - Mobile: 0093 (0) 799 55 8291 pressoffice@hq.isaf.nato.int - www.nato.int/isaf/