UAE: Doctors help formerly paralysed child regain ability to move and speak

His 5-month treatment plan included several technologically advanced therapies


Nandini Sircar

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Published: Sun 19 Dec 2021, 1:09 PM

A six-year-old Emirati child suffering from paralysis and loss of speech has started leading a normal life again.

A treatment plan that lasted less than five months using advanced rehabilitation devices and robots using artificial intelligence, virtual reality and hydrotherapy enabled the child to regain his strength.

Ahmed Al Ghafli, had been diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome, a rare neurological disorder that causes weakness in the entire body muscles, including breathing muscles.


Dr Mishal Al Kasimi, CEO of Capital Health Group - Specialized Rehabilitation Hospital and Health Shield Medical Center, Abu Dhabi, said, “Ahmed suffered from losing the ability to swallow and moving the lower part of his body and his weight was much less than the normal weight for children of his age.”

The multidisciplinary medical team at the Specialized Rehabilitation Hospital-Capital Health in Abu Dhabi managed to treat the child and redress his condition after a lot of thinking and a detailed treatment plan.

Little, Al-Ghafli underwent an advanced rehabilitation treatment for nearly half a year and was discharged from Rehabilitation Specialized Hospital, after returning to normal.

He was able to move, speak, eat, and breathe without relying on the mechanical ventilator, the multidisciplinary medical team consisting of pediatric consultants, rehabilitation consultants, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and speech and language pathologists of the pediatric department who treated the child according to an intensive medical and rehabilitation program.

The nursing team also put their best foot forward, following up on the child around the clock, with his family supporting him throughout.

Doctor explains: What is Guillain-Barré Syndrome?

Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare medical condition in which the immune system attacks the nerves, causing paralysis of the legs and sometimes ascending to the breathing muscles and then the nerves of the head and neck. These symptoms quickly spread until the entire body is paralyzed. Guillain-Barré syndrome is considered a medical emergency if it is severe, and people with it are hospitalized for treatment.

The exact cause of this syndrome is not known, and the disorder usually appears several days or weeks after exposure to a respiratory or digestive infection.

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