Three-year-old Hala was brought to KHCC after her mother noticed changes in her, including loss of appetite, fever and weakness. Upon examination, the pediatrician felt a “mass” in her abdomen and a CT scan showed a large tumor overtaking Hala’s liver. Upon arrival at KHCC, doctors diagnosed Hala with hepatoblastoma, an extreme condition where separating the large tumor from her liver was impossible.
Hala's treatment started with chemotherapy resulting in minor shrinking of the tumor; however, doctors at KHCC still did not find a way to separate the tumor. Her case and X-rays were shared with physicians at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in United States, who concurred with KHCC's diagnosis and course of action. A complicated pediatric transplant of this kind had never been done in Jordan. Her parents were faced with the decision that could save her life. The liver transplant team at King Hussein Medical City saw Hala and was encouraged by her family’s bravery!
While, the Royal Court covers costs of treatment, they could not cover the expensive price of the transplant. The family turned to his majesty King Abdullah-Ibn-Al Hussein and the King Hussein Cancer Foundation, who graciously shared the expenses. This was a great relief for the family who could now focus on their child. When doctors told Hala's father he was the best donor, he put his own life on the line by immediately signing the papers and going to the OR to donate part of his liver to his youngest daughter.
The surgery went smoothly and two weeks later, they were driving back home. Hala is taking her medications and her family is happy to know that she is "cancer free"! Hala will need monthly follow-up visits, but for the last 6 months, Hala has been doing superbly! Hala even attended KHCC's summer camp with a smiley face and full head of hair that her mother has cut short so her playmates cannot pull it. At camp, Hala plays and has fun like all the other children with one difference: she is a true hero, having survived the worst form of hepatoblastoma.