Walked By The Help Of Turkish Doctors



He was in a coma for four months as a result of a traffic accident. The 15-year-old Libyan boy woke up and learn that his brain and carotid artery were damaged due to paralyzation. In many countries his family was looking for hope. They became happy in Istanbul. Rafik Salem was discharged on foot from the hospital.


In April last year, 15-year-old Libyan Rafik Salem suffered a traffic accident and faced death. When the child woke up after four months in a coma, he faced another shock. He couldn’t use his left arm and left leg and was unable to speak. The family of the unfortunate child, looked for hope in France and Tunisia after Libya, but doctors in these countries said the situation was hopeless. Eventually, they came to Istanbul. Rafik Salem and his family became happy by Prof. Dr. Yusuf Kalko and his team  successful operation . The little boy can now walk and talk. The Libyan boy who tells the sad story of his life and said that, “It was April 2018. I was hit by a car. Everywhere in my body was broken. I was in a coma for four months. I couldn’t talk when I woke up. I wanted to get up, I couldn’t get up. I had a stroke in my left arm and left leg. I had several surgeries, my family took me to doctors in other countries, but my situation did not change. In time, I started to talk with difficulty, but I could not walk without support. Finally, we came to Istanbul. After Prof. Dr. Yusuf Kalko’s surgery, I started walking without support and more comfortable in talking. Thank you very much to the doctors.”.


“The vessels inside the brain were severely damaged.”


Cardiovascular Surgeon, Prof. Dr. Yusuf Kalko evaluated the Rafik Salem’s situation and said, ”The child had a serious traffic accident and was broken all over. The brain had been suffering severe trauma. As a result of this trauma, two independent vascular structures in the brain, arteries and veins were connected and fistula formed. Normally, the two systems operate independently and without interference. The child was paralyzed in his left arm and left leg because dirty blood and clean blood were mixed in the brain. That part of the brain has been damaged by severe pressure.”


“We have achieved an operation that is not normally possible.”


Prof. Dr. Yusuf Kalko explained the difficulty of the surgical technique.So he said that,  “We decided to have a difficult and very risky surgery. If we didn’t do this surgery, the child was at risk. He could have died. We shared this with the family before surgery. The child also has another misfortune. Because the pressure was too high, the carotid artery in the neck area became folded. It was impossible to reach here by entering through the groin because it was very difficult to advance the wire forward from the folded part of the carotid artery. We applied Hybrid Method on Rafik Salem , which we have developed and applied in carotid patients. In these surgeries, we can perform both open surgery, angiography and stenting at the same time. First, we shortened and straightened the carotid artery with open surgery. Then, we entered directly through the neck with angio, and we placed a special coated stent in the region of the participant and occluded it. Since we saw that the other side of the brain was open, canceling this side did not harm the child. The process was a very big operation. We perform these surgeries with local anesthesia in adult patients. We performed under general anesthesia with the thought that the child will not stop. It was a very risky surgery that lasted two and a half hours. Rafik Salem’s disease was a rare but life-threatening condition. We call it the medical Carotid Cavernous Fistula. It usually develops after trauma and can be fatal. Fortunately, everything went well in surgery, and the kid can walk now. He will receive physical therapy support after this process.”

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