Boy was born with 180-degree bent neck; ‘but after getting life-changing surgery, something devastating happened’!
According to his parents, the 13-year-old boy Mahendra was born with a rare condition, congenital myopathy, which means that the muscles in his neck were so weak that his head hung at a 180-degree angle. His every waking moment was agony and he was entirely dependent on his family and friends for care. Mahendra’s struggles were so great that his parents actually wished for his death as a way to end his suffering. Instead, a revolutionary new surgery has been performed that has everyone, especially Mahendra, seeing the world from a new angle.
From an early age, it was clear Mahendra had problems. His parents, Mukesh and Sumitra, took their son to over fifty doctors throughout India. For ten years, no one was able to help. Everyone suggested any sort of operation would kill the child. So for the last two years, Mahendra had stayed at home, wondering when he would die. His family did their best to keep him company, but work and school forced everyone to leave him alone for long stretches of the day. During those times, he was unable to drink any water. His friends tried to raise his spirits, but he could only sit and watch them. His condition prevented him from joining in. There was no reason to suspect that things would ever change for Mahendra and his family. They had no idea that thousands of miles away, Julie had raised $17,000 through a crowdfunding website to pay for a first of its kind surgery to help the 13-year-old.
The money went to pay for an operation by the world-renowned spinal surgeon, Krishnan. Mahendra and his family were taken by train to the Apollo Hospital. There, Dr. Krishnan performed a 10-hour long operation. He removed the disks from the boy’s neck and replaced them with a bone graft from his pelvis. He then secured everything with a metal plate to ensure the neck remained straight. After two weeks of recovery in the hospital, the transformation was miraculous. Mahendra had to wear a neck brace for six months, but already his voice was stronger. With the assistance of an electric wheelchair, he was able to get around his village with ease.
The operation appeared to have been a success. But, according to The Daily Mail, the boy reportedly died 8 months after life-changing surgery to cure the rare condition. The teen’s family announced Mahendra had died suddenly while watching television over the weekend. Dr. Krishnan, a former NHS doctor who completed the surgery to straighten the teenager’s neck, said he was left shocked by his sudden death. He said: “I can only conjecture that a massive cardiac or pulmonary event might have occurred and often there are no premonitory symptoms in such cases. I think myopathy and poor chest muscles caught up with him in the end. He was among the bravest children I’ve seen since my return to India and I see the most terrible and neglected deformities.”