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Baby Noor Healing Well

An Iraqi baby is healing well since spinal surgery last month, and her doctors have removed a drainage tube from her back, hospital officials said Wednesday.

Noor al-Zahra, whose treatment was arranged by U.S. troops in her homeland, was released from the hospital after the tube procedure Tuesday, according to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta and her surgeon, Dr. Roger Hudgins.

The 4-month-old is expected to return to the hospital in a few weeks to evaluate whether she needs bladder surgery.

Noor has spina bifida, in which the backbone and spinal cord do not close before birth. She had surgery Jan. 9 to position the cord properly, and a tube was later inserted to drain what doctors said was a minor fluid buildup.

Noor's condition likely would have been fatal if not treated. Doctors say Noor will probably remain paraplegic, but they hope she will otherwise be normal.

U.S. troops found Noor during a raid in December and contacted U.S. physicians, who agreed to treat her. The baby, her father and grandmother are staying with an Atlanta-area family while she recovers.

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