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Baby Noor Released From Hospital

Baby Noor, the Iraqi infant who was flown to the U.S. for surgery to correct her spinal defects, has been released from the hospital after a week of monitoring for the possible buildup of fluid in her back, hospital officials said Thursday.

Noor al-Zahra was evaluated by her surgeon, Dr. Roger Hudgins, and listed in good condition before her release Thursday from Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. She is expected to return to the hospital next week for a checkup, hospital officials said in a statement.

The 4-month old has spina bifida, in which the backbone and spinal cord do not close before birth. She had surgery Jan. 9 to remove a fluid-filled sac from her back and to position her spinal cord in its proper place. She will need at least two more operations before she is well enough to return home.

But she returned to the hospital Jan. 18 so doctors could insert a drainage tube after her grandmother noticed swelling in the baby's back. Hospital officials said the swelling appeared to be a minor accumulation of tissue fluid and not more dangerous spinal fluid, which could have led to a buildup of life-threatening pressure in her brain and required major surgery.

Her father and grandmother have been staying with a host family in the Atlanta area while Noor recovers.

Baby Noor was discovered in December by U.S. troops during a raid. The soldiers noticed paralysis in the baby's legs and what appeared to be a tumor on her back and contacted U.S. physicians, who agreed to treat her.