Page last updated at 08:10 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Boy thriving after rare surgery

Hamish and Rachael Cumming
Hamish will now be able to lead a more active life

A six-year-old Scottish boy with a rare muscle condition who travelled more than 300 miles to Derby for treatment is thriving weeks after surgery.

Hamish Cumming from Brechin, Angus, suffered from Poland's Syndrome, a condition which left him with a lack of muscle in his chest.

He spent eight days at the Royal Derby Hospital where he had muscle from his back transferred into his chest.

His mother Rachael said the change in her son was "amazing".

Ms Cumming added: "The change is absolutely huge, the physical appearance (after) the operation is just amazing.

"He's now symmetrical and within himself he's much happier and a lot more confident.

"Because he's had it done at such a young age I can't believe the difference in his confidence, just in five weeks."

One-sided malformations

The six-hour operation was performed by specialist surgeon Mr Chris Bainbridge in October.

He had said: "One of the reasons he has come to Derby is because we have been doing procedures like this through endoscopes, which minimises the size of the scar.

"We have been using endoscopes for this type of operation for a couple of years and every time we do it the scar gets smaller and smaller."

Mrs Cumming managed to find the surgeon with the help of the Poland's Syndrome Support Group, which is based in Swadlincote, Derbyshire.

The syndrome affects one in 20,000 to 30,000 births.

The condition is a pattern of one-sided malformations that are present at birth.

Poland Syndrome is characterised by a defect of the chest muscle on one side of the body and sometimes webbing of the fingers of the hand on the same side.


A young boy is thriving after surgery in Derby, his mother says.

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