23-year-old Nigerian Micheal's dreams of becoming a drummer seemed shattered when he learned that he was suffering from a rare disease of the brain, which was pushing it against his eye, making it bulge outwards.
He didn't have any bone separating the eye from the brain on all sides.
Micheal was born with a condition called "aplasia of sphenoid bone", a rare birth defect. As he grew up, he started noticing that his right eye bulged outward. He also noticed progressive thickening and closure of the eyelid.
He went for treatment in Nigeria, but doctors there were unable to diagnose his condition.
Collecting all his resources, Michael came to Delhi and reached the Asian Institute of Medical Sciences here, the hospital said in a release Monday.
"When we first saw Micheal's reports it was just unbelievable. Reports about this kind of defect have been published sometimes, but I don't think anyone has seen a patient suffering from it," N.K. Pandey, chairman, Asian Institute of Medical Sciences, where Michael was operated upon, said.
According to Kamal Verma, senior consultant neurosurgery of the hospital: "The bones which form the socket for the eye and separate the eyes from the brain were not developed normally and a part of that bone was missing. Due to this defect, the brain on the right side was pushing inside the eye socket and the eye was protruding outwards."
A team of experts, including neurosurgeons, plastic surgeons and eye surgeons among others discussed Michael's condition. Everyone agreed that surgery was the only option but since this kind of operation was being undertaken for the first time, the team took all possible measures to ensure its success.
The team first planned to separate the brain from the eyeball and make an artificial eye socket. The eyelid tumour was planned to be operated at a second stage.
Michael's skull was opened and the brain was very carefully separated from the contents of the eye. Both the structures were stuck to each other and care was taken not to damage any nerve or blood vessel.
A series of corrective surgeries were undertaken in August last. Since then, Michael has made excellent recovery. The bulging of his eye has significantly reduced and the vision and the movements of the eye have improved dramatically.