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

Mid Day - - City -

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.

Be­fore

Af­ter

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

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