Our family histories reveal some interesting variations. The first is a history from the Sibai family who now live in Saudi Arabia. While living in Kansas, where Omar was born, they attended our second symposium held in Kentucky in 1984. Omar's father, Atef, is a doctor. Omar's sister writes this history of her brother.
Omar was born in 1983. We all rejoiced when we heard that we had a baby brother. My mother came home two days after his birth. Of course we had no idea that he had MSUD, so my mother was breast-feeding him.
One night, not knowing what was in store for us, my father checked on Omar. My sister and I were also awake at that time. My father found Omar's face blue and he wasn't breathing. My father breathed for him as he called an ambulance. A few minutes later the sound of the deafening ambulance siren awakened my mother. My father went with Omar to the hospital, because my mother was confused and couldn't recover from the shock. A friend of my mother came to our house. My mother spent the whole night praying and crying.
From Hutchinson, Omar was transferred to Wesley Medical Center in Witchita. My father lost hope for Omar's survival, but my mother kept striving strongly until finally Omar recovered. Doctor Cho discovered that Omar had been a victim of MSUD.
We would take Omar frequently to Doctor Cho. We would watch his diet at home, and we put him through physical therapy.
In 1985 we moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Omar was two years old at that time. We registered him in the King Faisal hospital. There are a lot of children with MSUD here. The problem is that they are diagnosed late, so their cases are more severe.
For the past five years we have avoided taking any blood tests, and he's been doing fine. We take a urine test by the strip so we'll know if he has been taking too much protein.
For a year now there was only one episode in which Omar became very ill. We do not take him to the hospital; my father puts an IV in for him. My mother devotes all her attention to him if he happens to get sick. His main problem is that he gags, usually in the morning. We sometimes give him medicine that will help him cope with this feeling.
Omar has miraculously improved. He is in first grade and goes to a normal school. He is a very bright boy and does not hesitate to study. He also has many friends. He drinks his Milupa formula, but we encourage him very much.
Just recently my mother gave birth to a baby girl. She was born on October 31st, 1990. We were extremely worried about the fact that she could also have MSUD. Praise be to God, after some lab tests, we discovered she did not have MSUD. Although we have a new baby, I think Omar will remain greatly special to all of us.
Family History - Omar from Saudi Arabia
- Written by Amal Al-Sibai