Collaborative Charity Care Saves Young Life

Updated: 5/9/2014
Eshaal Fatimah

A recent press conference held at the Gates Vascular Institute (GVI) showcased the life-saving and charitable care given to four-year-old Eshaal Fatimah from Pakistan by Adnan H. Siddiqui MD, PhD, Renee Reynolds, MD, and an entire team of care providers at the GVI and Women & Children’s Hospital of Buffalo (WCHOB).

Eshaal suffered from a rare type of arteriovenous malformation (AVM), which led to three nearly fatal brain hemorrhages since birth.

AVMs are a tangle of abnormal and fragile blood vessels in the brain which short circuit normal brain draining blood directly from the arteries to the veins. Normally, arteries carry blood containing oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the brain, and veins carry blood with less oxygen away from the brain and back to the heart. AVMs frequently cause brain hemorrhage, which can be severely disabling or fatal.

After years of struggle and being told by Pakistani physicians and hospitals that there was no local treatment for Eshaal’s presumed fatal ailment, her father, Jamshed Ahmed, launched an exhaustive, worldwide search for the right surgeon and facility to treat Eshaal. He was finally directed by Pakistani physicians to the GVI and University at Buffalo neurosurgeons.

After several attempts to secure visas, Eshaal and her parents were recently able to travel to the Gates Vascular Institute for treatment. Eshaal had her first minimally invasive procedure at the end of April, with a second procedure performed yesterday. Today she is considered cured.

All the Kaleida Health physicians overseeing her care – from both the GVI as well as WCHOB – donated their services, including neurosurgery, pediatrics, anesthesia and radiology. Transport services were donated by Rural/Metro Medical Services.

Eshaal was discharged from WCHOB on May 8 and will return to Pakistan at the end of the month after a family trip to New York City.

“This was a special case because Eshaal and her parents had to travel overseas for treatment,” said Dr. Siddiqui. “It is important to note that we do this every single day for people in Western New York who do not have the means to pay for quality health care,” he added.

Dr. Siddiqui, the lead neurosurgeon involved in this case at the GVI, is the vice chairman of University at Buffalo department of neurosurgery and director of Kaleida Health’s stroke services.