An 18-month-old girl suffering from a severe case of Hydrocephalus has had free lifesaving surgery.

Roona Begum's condition – also known as “water on the brain” – caused her head to swell to three times its normal size.

On Wednesday surgeon Sandeep Vaishya told AFP: “The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected.”

Scroll down for more pictures of Roona Begum and her surgery
roona begum indian girl hydrocephalus

Roona Begum is pictured following the surgery at Fortis Memorial Research Institute

Roona’s surgery was courtesy of medics at India’s largest private hospital in Gurgoan, near Delhi.

The procedure was only possible after Roona and her poverty-stricken family, from the rural village of Agartala, were flown free of charge to the hospital by the Fortis Foundation.

Now that excess fluid has been drained from her skull, the pressure on her brain will be reduced and doctors will decide on further treatment.

Before she was operated on, Dr Sandeep Vaishya, Director of Neurosurgery at Fortis Memorial Research Institute, where Roona was treated, said: "I was surprised when I saw the baby for the first time. Even though I had seen her pictures, I wasn’t expecting the head to be so big.

roona begum indian girl hydrocephalus

Roona's mother Fatima plants a kiss on her daughter's head before surgery

"Her head measures 94 cm, in similar cases the average measurement is around 50-60 cm.

"Her head is swollen to an extent that she is not able to close her eyes completely. We have an opthamologist looking at her eyes, so that there are no complications there.

"We are hopeful that she will make a complete recovery. The challenge is to drain her brain fluid in a gradual manner, so as the brain gets used to it."

Ahead of her surgery the little girl was allowed to rest in a state-of-the-art hotel room, being paid for by the foundation, as she received round-the-clock care.

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Roona's head was swollen to the extent she was unable to close her eyes properly

Roona's mother Fatima, 24, told Barcroft Media from her daughter's bedside: "When she was born, I wondered why do children of poor people like us suffer this fate.

"Why is fate cruel to us? Why do rich people who can afford to cure their kids never get diseases like this?

"Before she was born, I went to a doctor twice. Once when I was one month pregnant and than when I was six months pregnant. We did not have money to go more often.

"She was born through a caesarian operation and the doctor told us we had to take her out of Agartala to get her treated. But we did not have any money at all."

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But the devastated mother revealed some family members had been less than supportive.

Fatima added: "When she is better, I hope my in-laws accept her. And she can have the love she deserves from her grandparents."

Roona's father Abdul, 19, said: "Even though our neighbours come and play with her, my parents have refused to acknowledge her existence, since she was born."

Abdul, who works as a labourer thanked those who had helped Roona, saying: "I cannot find work every day. Its hard enough to earn for food, so her treatment would have been impossible had it not been for the press and hospital people who have helped us.”

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  • INDIA-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Fatima Khatun (TOP) and Abdul Rahman (L) the parents of Indian child Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling greet her after surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, her neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Fatima Khatun (L) and Abdul Rahman (R) the parents of Indian child Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling greet her after surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, her neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Fatima Khatun (L) the mother of Indian child Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling greets her after surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, her neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian doctors perform surgery on Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, a neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/ SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian doctors perform surgery on Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, a neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/ SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian doctors wipe iodine on Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, before surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, a neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/ SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian doctors perform surgery on Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, her neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian doctors prepare Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, for surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, her neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian doctors prepare Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, for surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, her neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian doctors prepare Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, for surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, her neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian doctors prepare Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, for surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon near New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, a neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/ SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian doctors prepare Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, for surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, a neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/ SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian doctors prepare Roona Begum, a 15-month old girl suffering from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to swelling, for surgery at a hospital in Gurgaon near New Delhi on May 15, 2013. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, a neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/ SAJJAD HUSSAIN (Photo credit should read SAJJAD HUSSAIN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    In this photograph taken on April 17, 2013, the mother of Indian child Roona Begum (R), Fatima Khatun, sits with her daughter at a hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, a neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/ ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    In this photograph taken on April 17, 2013, fifteen month old Roona Begum is tended to by doctors and family at a local hospital in Gurgaon on the outskirts of New Delhi. Doctors have successfully carried out life-saving surgery on an Indian baby suffering from a rare disorder that caused her head to swell to nearly double its size, a neurosurgeon told AFP. 'The surgery went perfectly, much better than expected,' Sandeep Vaishya said after the procedure on 15-month-old Roona Begum, speaking exclusively to an AFP reporter inside the operating theatre at a hospital in New Delhi. AFP PHOTO/ ROBERTO SCHMIDT (Photo credit should read ROBERTO SCHMIDT/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian labourer Abdul Rahman fans his eighteen month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling, at their hut in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 15, 2013. A top private Indian hospital offered April 15 to examine an 18-month-old girl suffering from a rare but treatable illness that has caused her head to swell to more than double its normal size. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STRDEL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Fatima Khatun (L), 25, sifts through rice next to her eighteen month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus, in which cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain, at their hut in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 13, 2013. Her father, Abdul Rahman, 18, who lives in a mud hut with his family, told AFP he prays for 'a miracle' that will save his only child. Doctors told him to go to a specialist hospital in a big city such as Kolkata in eastern India to get medical help but Rahman, who earns 150 rupees ($2.75) a day working in the brick plant, said he does not have the money to take her. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Fatima Khatun (L), 25, sifts through rice next to her eighteen month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus, in which cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain, at their hut in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 13, 2013. Her father, Abdul Rahman, 18, who lives in a mud hut with his family, told AFP he prays for 'a miracle' that will save his only child. Doctors told him to go to a specialist hospital in a big city such as Kolkata in eastern India to get medical help but Rahman, who earns 150 rupees ($2.75) a day working in the brick plant, said he does not have the money to take her. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-HEALTH-SOCIAL-POVERTY-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Fatima Khatun 25 (C), kisses the head of her eighteen month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus, in which cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain, at their hut in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 13, 2013. Her father, Abdul Rahman, 18, who lives in a mud hut with his family, told AFP he prays for 'a miracle' that will save his only child. Doctors told him to go to a specialist hospital in a big city such as Kolkata in eastern India to get medical help but Rahman, who earns 150 rupees ($2.75) a day working in the brick plant, said he does not have the money to take her. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian daily labourer, Abdul Rahman (R), 18, fans his eighteen month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling, as her mother Fatima Khatun (L) 25, holds her hand at their hut in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 13, 2013. Rahman works in a brick factory earning 150 rupees (2.75 USD) a day and does not have the capability to treat his daughter. India's rural development minister said in November 2012, that the country's public health system had 'collapsed' in a blunt assessment of his government's failure to extend a social safety net for the poor. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian daily labourer, Abdul Rahman (top), 18, fans his eighteen month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling, as her mother Fatima Khatun (L) 25, holds her hand at their hut in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 13, 2013. Rahman works in a brick factory earning 150 rupees (2.75 USD) a day and does not have the capability to treat his daughter. India's rural development minister said in November 2012, that the country's public health system had 'collapsed' in a blunt assessment of his government's failure to extend a social safety net for the poor. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Fatima Khatun 25 (C), feeds her eighteen month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus, in which cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain, at their hut in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 13, 2013. Her father, Abdul Rahman, 18, who lives in a mud hut with his family, told AFP he prays for 'a miracle' that will save his only child. Doctors told him to go to a specialist hospital in a big city such as Kolkata in eastern India to get medical help but Rahman, who earns 150 rupees ($2.75) a day working in the brick plant, said he does not have the money to take her. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-CHILD-HEALTH-ILLNESS-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Fatima Khatun 25 (C), touches the head of her eighteen month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus, in which cerebrospinal fluid builds up in the brain, at their hut in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 13, 2013. Her father, Abdul Rahman, 18, who lives in a mud hut with his family, told AFP he prays for 'a miracle' that will save his only child. Doctors told him to go to a specialist hospital in a big city such as Kolkata in eastern India to get medical help but Rahman, who earns 150 rupees ($2.75) a day working in the brick plant, said he does not have the money to take her. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-HEALTH-SOCIAL-POVERTY-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian mother Fatema Khatun , 25, fans her 18 month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling, inside their home in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 12, 2013. Khatun's husband Abdul Rahman works in a brick factory earning 150 rupees (2.75 USD) a day and does not have the capability to treat their daughter. India's rural development minister said in November 2012, that the country's public health system had 'collapsed' in a blunt assessment of his government's failure to extend a social safety net for the poor. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-HEALTH-SOCIAL-POVERTY-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian daily labourer, Abdul Rahman, 18, fans his 18 month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling, in their home in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 12, 2013. Rahman works in a brick factory earning 150 rupees (2.75 USD) a day and does not have the capability to treat his daughter. India's rural development minister said in November 2012, that the country's public health system had 'collapsed' in a blunt assessment of his government's failure to extend a social safety net for the poor. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-HEALTH-SOCIAL-POVERTY-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian daily labourer, Abdul Rahman, 18, holds his 18 month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus,a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling, in front of their home in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 12, 2013. Rahman works in a brick factory earning 150 rupees (2.75 USD) a day and does not have the capability to treat his daughter. India's rural development minister said in November 2012, that the country's public health system had 'collapsed' in a blunt assessment of his government's failure to extend a social safety net for the poor. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • INDIA-HEALTH-SOCIAL-POVERTY-HYDROCEPHALUS

    Indian daily labourer, Abdul Rahman, 18, holds his 18 month old daughter, Roona Begum, suffering from Hydrocephalus,a buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling, in front of their home in Jirania village on the outskirts of Agartala, the capital of northeastern state of Tripura on April 12, 2013. Rahman works in a brick factory earning 150 rupees (2.75 USD) a day and does not have the capability to treat his daughter. India's rural development minister said in November 2012, that the country's public health system had 'collapsed' in a blunt assessment of his government's failure to extend a social safety net for the poor. AFP PHOTO/ STR (Photo credit should read ARINDAM DEY/AFP/Getty Images)