Dr. Hani Al-Jahani, the Saudi surgeon working at a hospital in the French city of Colmar; removed a brain tumor of a Kuwaiti girl, who had come to Paris to undergo the operation.
The Saudi surgeon performed the successful operation after a renowned French surgeon for skull base tumors at the biggest neurosurgery center in France refused to conduct it at the last moments over the coronavirus fears.
After conducting the tests and preparations to carry out the operation; the French professor declined at the end to do the surgery due to the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Besides, the crowding of COVID-19 patients in the intensive care units of hospitals. Despite the girl’s case being urgent as she was having recurrent epileptic seizures.
In a press statement to the Saudi Press Agency, Dr. Al-Jahani said that the Medical Attaché’s Office, at the Kuwaiti Embassy in Paris; contacted a number of hospitals in order to help the girl, but all these efforts were in vain.
However, by Allah’s will, the girl’s brother contacted Dr. Al-Jahani through social media. In turn, the Kuwaiti Medical Attache’s Office contacted Dr. Al-Jahani directly in this regard.
It was a success
“After I gave a nod the Kuwaiti mission; I requested the hospital where I’m working to allow me to do the surgery but they were unwilling. However, I kept persuading and pressing them continuously for two weeks. Finally they gave me a green light to do the surgery, which was a success,” Dr. Al-Jahani added.
The operation took seven hours and while the patient was supposed to remain in the hospital for 10 days, she got out only after four days. The patient was able to move all her limbs following the operation.
Delicate yet very risky
Speaking on the details of the operation, Dr. Al-Jahani described it as delicate and very risky. He said the girl was suffering from a tumor at the base of the skull close to the arteries feeding the brain. The risk lied in the intertwining of major arteries feeding the brain with the tumor, hence making it difficult to separate the tumor from the arteries. There was a risk, if the major artery feeding the brain was damaged, then the whole right side of the brain would malfunction. She might lose her sight and hearing in the right side, while the left side of her body would be paralyzed, God forbid.
Dr. Al-Jahani said this is the operation in which he was under tremendous stress due to the situation and the time factor. Furthermore, he conducted the operation owing the responsibility as the hospital had refused to do it due to crowding of COVID-19 patients, affecting the bed capacity of the Colmar Hospital, located in a region with big numbers of coronavirus cases.
Dr. Al-Jahani drew attention to the fact that a week before the Kuwaiti girl’s surgery, he also conducted a delicate but successful operation for an Emirati girl. This was despite the fact the girl’s family could have afforded to take her to the US or any other country but they chose to get it done here.
Dr. Al-Jahani is one of the Saudi doctors, who have been representing the Kingdom and its pioneering role in humanitarian work overseas, standing shoulder to shoulder with their French counterparts, to combat the spread of COVID-19 virus.
Dr. Al-Jahani is a member of the teaching staff of Al-Qassim University. He got a scholarship from his university to complete his fellowship in neurology and neurosurgery in France. He started at Strasbourg University Hospital and after three years, he shifted to Colmar Hospital.
The first Saudi doctor in neurosurgery
Dr. Al-Jahani specialized as the first Saudi doctor in neurosurgery following the signing of an agreement by the Saudi Cultural Attache’s Office in France with the French Ministry of Health, according to which Saudi doctors were given the permission to complete their training in their specializations.
The Saudi Cultural Attache’s Office held a ceremony in honor of Dr. Al-Jahani as the first Saudi neurosurgeon to implement this agreement and join the French medical staff. The ceremony was in the presence of the Saudi Cultural Attache to France and Switzerland Dr. Abdullah Bin Fahd Al-Thunayyan.
Dr. Hani Al-Jahani is working officially since three years as a certified surgeon in France. He has his own list of patients and list of surgeries to be conducted without any supervision.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, he took a step further and started conducting emergency operations; whether brain hemorrhages, brain tumors or fractures in the vertebrae of COVID-19 patients. This is after stopping all the scheduled operations due to the spread of coronavirus in the Grand Est region of northeastern France where Colmar city is.