UAE: Bedridden 5-year-old Filipino boy walks again after treatment of rare disease

He was suffering from little-known disorder that causes inflammation predominantly in the long bones of the lower limbs in children and adolescents

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Ashwani Kumar

Published: Tue 19 Sep 2023, 2:29 PM

A five-year-old bedridden boy with a rare disease has been able to walk again and return to school following a successful treatment at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City (SKMC) in Abu Dhabi.

Elijah, the young Filipino patient, was suffering from chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis (CRMO), a little-known disorder that causes inflammation predominantly in the long bones of the lower limbs in children and adolescents. Symptoms include bone or joint pain, local bone swelling, tenderness, limping, loss of function, and skin lesions like psoriasis and acne. Early diagnosis and treatment are crucial for favourable outcomes.

Elijah had been experiencing chronic back pain, rendering him bedridden. After undergoing investigations, including a whole-body MRI scan, he was diagnosed with CRMO at SKMC’s rheumatology clinic.

Elijah’s condition showed significant improvement with the prescribed treatment. He regained the ability to stand up, and walk, and experienced reduced pain, ultimately returning to school.

“The successful treatment of the boy’s chronic recurrent multifocal osteomyelitis offers hope for other children with this rare condition. Children with unexplained joint symptoms or pains can benefit from specialist rheumatology services for prompt diagnosis and treatment,” said Dr Kamran Mahmood, consultant paediatric rheumatology at the hospital, who took charge of the case.

Dr Kamran Mahmood
Dr Kamran Mahmood

Elijah’s mother was delighted to see her son walk again and return to school.

“I cannot express how grateful I am to Sheikh Khalifa Medical City for giving my son a second chance at life. Seeing him suffer from chronic back pain and become bedridden was heartbreaking. But with the new medication, his condition improved significantly, and he can now walk and attend school again. The care and compassion shown by the hospital’s dedicated team of specialists have touched our hearts, and we will be forever thankful for the tireless efforts in treating my son.”

The successful treatment highlights how PureHealth, the largest healthcare platform in the Middle East, through its subsidiary SEHA’s SKMC, is making significant strides in the diagnosis and treatment of rare musculoskeletal conditions in children.

Dr Muna Al Hammadi, acting chief medical officer at SKMC, added: “In line with the vision of PureHealth and under the directives of SEHA, we are committed to offering exceptional paediatric care to our patients. Our team of highly trained paediatric subspecialists, along with our state-of-the-art facilities, ensures that we provide a wide range of specialised treatments for various medical conditions. We will continue to prioritise excellence in pediatric healthcare and remain dedicated to serving our patients and their families with the utmost care and compassion.”


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