Teen excited about exams after beating biggest test of his life
After surgery to fix rare spinal condition, 16-year-old is looking forward to sitting for exams without suffering excruciating pain
medical conditions, Mukesh has spent the last eight years alone, being shuffled across three different state-run shelters. He was rescued by RPF officers and taken to a children’s home in Bhiwandi. He had told them that his family lived under the Kalamboli bridge, but despite several attempts, social workers were unable to find his parents.
As far as he can recall, the pain started after he was injured in a fall in 2010, at the Bhiwandi shelter he was first taken to. “The pain continued to get worse. For the past couple of years, I haven’t been able to sleep, and I would often walk around at night. The pain would force me to leave exams midway,” he said.
Rare congenital condition
On the other hand, Dr Dhiraj Sonawane, head of the Orthopaedic and Spine department at GT hospital, said, “One in 10,000 people suffer from kyphosis and it is usually either congenital, which becomes prominent during puberty, when the body grows, or is caused by tuberculosis. In this case, it appears to be congenital.”
He added that it was a rare case, considering the severity of the condition. “His spine was curved at a 90-degree angle,” said Dr Sonawane.
The doctor said that had Mukesh not undergone the surgery, he was at risk of paralysis, in case of a fall. After consulting with spine surgeons from Singapore and the US, Sonawane conducted the surgery on October 26. “This kind of a surgery is usually done in two or three phases. But we decided to do it in one go to minimise the risk,” he said, adding that he used cobalt chromium rods to hold the spine — the strongest material. The hospital also borrowed a neuromonitoring system from Surat to monitor the proximity of the surgical instruments to the spinal cord. Mukesh will be kept under observation for a week before he is discharged.
Amit Gunjal, Mukesh’s counsellor and a social worker with the Women and Child Development Department, had visited two other hospitals
A fortnight after the surgery, he is already up and about
The teenager had a rare 90-degree hunch