Aaryan Joshua
Durban - Aaryan Joshua, who was hit by a falling tree branch three weeks ago, has finally emerged from a coma and has been responsive to doctors and family.

He remains in ICU at Life Entabeni Hospital with doctors closely monitoring his progress. They have attributed his present condition to a life-saving operation.

Neurosurgeon Dr Samesh Lachman said Aaryan’s condition had improved.

“He has come out of a coma, and is off the ventilator. He is awake, but still needs to undergo further tests and monitoring,” said Lachman.

Aaryan, who recently completed Grade 6 at Carrington Primary School in Umbilo, was walking home after church with his grandmother and his two siblings on December 10.

They walked past the Queensmead Hockey Stadium, near the corner of Umbilo and Hillier roads, when a tree branch fell on Aaryan and his granny, 61-year-old Nancy Soobramoney.

Read: Falling tree branch puts boy in coma

Tree branch boy still critical

Aaryan was rushed to Entabeni Hospital with severe brain swelling.

His granny suffered a broken femur and was taken to King Edward VIII hospital.

When Aaryan reached the hospital, said Lachman, he had major intracranial and subdural bleeding, a fracture to the skull and brain contusion.

“I made the decision to perform a decompressive craniectomy, which is only done in extreme cases where there is excessive brain swelling,” said Lachman.

The surgery involves removing part of the skull to allow for the swelling of the brain.

The skull, or bone flap as it’s also known, was then placed in the subcutaneous pockets in the anterior abdominal wall.

“A piece of his skull was placed in his stomach. It is a known procedure, but it is not done often.

“It was a life-saving operation for the child.

“The skull is kept in a part of the stomach as this is a sterile and clean environment at body temperature,” he said.

The bone flap will be reimplanted once doctors are happy that the brain swelling has decreased.