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Baby Born With Massive Head

Neurosurgeons at a hospital in San Antonio are fighting to save the life of an 11-month old baby born with a rare condition that caused his head to swell to more than twice the normal size.

"Baby Klaus," as his parents and local media are calling him, was born with hydrocephalus, a build-up of excess fluid in the brain that has caused his head to swell to more than 130% larger than a typical newborn's head.

After several doctors near their home in west Texas refused to operate or told them that their baby would die soon, the stricken baby's parents, who identified themselves as Klaus Sr. and Beatrice, found a hopeful savior in Dr. David Jimenez, the chairmen of the department of neurosurgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio.

Jimenez and his staff inserted a tube in the baby's head to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure, and the child's head is already about a foot smaller than it was when his parents brought him in about two weeks ago, San Antonio's KENS5-TV reported.

Still, doctors and hydrocephalus experts said Baby Klaus's had a particular severe case and that progress would be slow.

"It's like nothing that I've seen before," Jimenez said.

Known to doctors as "water on the brain," hydrocephalus occurs in about 1 out of 500 babies born and can cause brain damage, according to the Mayo Clinic's website. If left untreated, the condition can be fatal.

Baby Klaus's parents told local media in a news conference that they are praying for their son every day and hopeful that the fact that he has managed to live almost a year is a sign that he will survive. It is likely, though, that he faces extensive reconstructive surgery in the future, Jimenez said.

"What I can tell about my son is he's a great fighter," Klaus, Sr. told KENS5-TV. "He's a warrior."


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