Thursday, October 1, 2009

Report from Houston

Since hearing of Thien Nhan's plight some years ago, Hanoi-based philanthropist Greig Craft has worked tirelessly to raise funds and find surgeons willing to take on this challenging case. Making time in his very busy schedule as the head of an injury prevention foundation, Mr. Craft has accompanied Thien Nhan, his mom and grandma to Houston, Texas, from where he sent this report:

A medical team at Texas Children's Hospital led by Dr. Lars J. Cisek, a pediatric urologist and Thien Nhan's coordinating physician Dr.Tue Dinh, a noted plastic surgeon, conducted a detailed exam of Thien Nhan's pelvic area. Dr. Cisek's initial assessment is that what doctors in Thailand and Vietnam believed to be testes may in fact only be internal scar tissue from the original trauma. If true, surgeons can still enable Thien Nhan to become a fully functioning male, although he would be unable to father biological children.

To determine the existence and viablity of the boy's testes, a series of injections will be given to Thien Nhan in the US over the next 14 days, followed by chemical analysis of his blood. This is a painful but essential process for Thien Nhan.

If the outcome is positive, the surgeons will conduct a Laparoscopy (inserting a tiny camera under anasthesia) to locate the testes. Internal scar tissue could make this a complicated procedure. Assuming that the testes are successfully located, major surgery would be needed to extract them. Dr. Tue would operate on the groin area, create a new scrotum from skin tissue, and relocate the testes. If the testes are not functional, hormone therapy will be the solution.

We'll know more in coming days, and will keep you posted as soon we learn more. Thanks for your ongoing support and love.

[Photo: Greig Craft carries Thien Nhan in the hospital]

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