Ala’s story is far from the ordinary. Born in 2002 as the first-born child, he soon began experiencing persistent lung infections. Known for its high-quality medical treatment of infants and children, Ala’s father immediately brought the new-born baby to CBH for medical care. After receiving a sweat test which measures the amount of chloride in the sweat, Ala’ was sadly diagnosed with cystic fibrosis (CF) at only 4 months of age. CF is an incurable hereditary disease caused by a defective gene, which makes Ala’s body produce thick mucus, which in turn affects both his respiratory and digestive systems.
Aside from the regular lung infections, Ala’s digestion is continually disrupted due to a shortage in pancreas enzyme production. As a result, he suffers from slow weight gain, daily cough with mucus and shortness of breath.
In January 2020 -amid his senior year in high school- Ala’ was rushed to Caritas Baby Hospital due to respiratory distress. Upon his admission, his chest X-ray image displayed complete damage of his right lung and partial damage of the left lung.
Unfortunately, his situation deteriorated after which, and he was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) for invasive respiratory support accompanied by a prolonged antibiotic course. At this point, Ala’s parents were informed that he’s in the terminal stage of his life.
Fearful for her child’s life, Ala’s mother was heard in the ICU telling her son repeatedly: “You have to get better in order to celebrate your success in high school”. Throughout this critical phase, Ala’ was determined to get better, in order to make his mother’s wish come true. “The will can achieve the impossible” asserted Ala’ time and again during his stay in the ICU.
Over a month later, Ala’s health gradually improved and he was transferred to one of the inpatient wards, where he was seen studying with determination. A short period after which he was sent home to be able to prepare for his final examinations. Yet, he still suffered from persistent lung damage and had to be connected to an oxygen auto-generator, which works to provide Ala’ with the necessary oxygen intake as he was unable to breathe adequately on his own.
“Due to the proper management of Ala’s condition by our CF team, we were able to give him more time with his family” affirmed CBH pulmonologist, Dr. Nisreen Rumman.
Ala’ passed his final examinations and graduated from high school in July of this year. He now plans to pursue a degree in accountancy at a local university. Additionally, he no longer requires respiratory support during the day and is able to breathe on his own. When the CBH team called Ala’ to congratulate him on his success, he proudly stated “remember what I told you in the ICU? I just proved it to everyone.”
Prepared by: Shaden Shaer