x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Emirati toddler hit by carnival ride starts to respond

Three-year-old Khalifa Obaid Saeed Al Zayoudi has been in a coma at Sharjah's Al Qassimi Hospital for nearly 20 days following an accident more than three weeks ago.

SHARJAH // Khalifa Al Zayoudi, the Emirati toddler who had been in a coma since he was hit on the head by a carnival ride nearly three weeks ago, is starting to respond to treatment, doctors say.

Khalifa, 33 months, has been in intensive care at Al Qassimi Hospital since December 24, when he was injured at Al Majaz Park in Sharjah.

After surgery yesterday he could move his limbs and recognise relatives, said Dr Satish Krishna, a neurosurgeon at the hospital.

“His condition is still critical and he may undergo another surgery later to repair the broken bones,” Dr Krishna said.

He said Khalifa suffered head injuries and a brain haemorrhage that required an immediate operation, where a tube was inserted to drain excess blood from his brain. He was then placed on a ventilator.

Dr Krishna said it was not yet clear how long Khalifa would remain in intensive care or how long his treatment would last, but his response was good news.

Obaid Al Zayoudi, his father, said the improvements gave his family hope as they continued to pray for his full recovery.

“Whatever slight improvement, whether moving his limbs or making any gesture, is worth a celebration,” Mr Al Zayoudi said.

“It is also giving us a lot of hope that he has started responding to the treatment being given.

“As a family we have been very stressed by his state but we are making for him a lot of prayers so that he fully recovers.”

He said Khalifa’s mother was staying with him in hospital.

Khalifa and his family had gone to Al Majaz Park for the Sharjah Water Festival.

He slipped away while his parents were buying tickets and was hit by the Crazy Fire ride.

Sharjah Commerce and Tourism Development Authority, the organiser of the water festival, said it regretted the incident.

ykakande@thenational.ae