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Stats: 343 members, 4,728 Topics. Date: February 21, 2018, 12:05 pm

Boy With Head At 180-degrees Can Finally See World The Right Way Up

TodayNewsReview / General / Health / Boy With Head At 180-degrees Can Finally See World The Right Way Up 406 Views

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A schoolboy who lived with his head hanging to one side is finally able to see the world 'straight' after life-changing surgery. Mahendra Ahirwar, 13, has a rare condition that made his neck muscles so weak his head hung at a 180-degree angle. His crocked neck meant Mahendra was restricted to just sitting as he was unable to stand or walk and needed help to eat and go to the toilet.

But Mahendra's life has been transformed thanks to a stranger, mother-of-two Julie Jones living 4,000 miles away in Liverpool who read his story and raised £12,000 for an operation to straighten his neck. Now the Mahendra can do the same things other boys his age can - like go to school. His dad Mukesh, 41, told MailOnline: 'It's a miracle! He looks great. His neck is straight; and his life is so very different.

'He’s in a good place. It was heart breaking to see him before. We were on the brink of losing him. When his neck was bent he was too shy to speak but now he feels like a normal person and we can see his confidence levels growing. He is very happy now. He says he can feel the difference and he loves it.’ He looks great. His neck is straight; and his life is so very different. He's in a good place. It was heart breaking to see him before. We were on the brink of losing him

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Mahendra, from Madhya Pradesh, central India, was born with a normal neck but as he grew older his bones became weak and his neck began to bend. But after years trying to find treatment, Mahendra seeing doctors two years ago and was resigned to spending the rest of his life with a crocked neck. But life was a struggle. Mahendra's parents even admit they would rather their son die than continue to suffer.

Before the operation, his mum Sumitra, 36, said: 'I can't see Mahendra suffer anymore. Watching his life is devastating. He cannot do anything by himself. 'He just sits in a corner of the room all day. It's no life. I have to carry him like a baby everywhere, how will I carry him when he grows older? If doctors cannot treat my son it is better that God takes him.’ Before surgery Mahendra needed his mum to feed, bathe and dress him. His younger siblings Surendra, 11, and 14-year-old Manisha, both went to school. And his older brother Lalit, 17, tried to find work. Meanwhile he was left at home. Even his friends used to ignore him.

But when Mahendra's story made headlines around the world, spine surgeon Dr Rajagopalan Krishnan, from Apollo Hospital, in Delhi, offered to help. In the first surgery of its kind, Dr Krishnan, who spent 15 years working for the NHS in the UK, had to operate on Mahendra’s spine by opening up the front part of his neck. During surgery the front of his cervical spine was left completely exposed because of his extraordinarily thin skin.

Dr Krishnan removed the disks from his neck and replace them with bone graft from his pelvis and then fit a metal plate to secure the neck straight. He said: ‘When I met Mahendra for the first time what surprised me the most was the neglect of his condition for 12 years. There was no diagnosis let alone treatment. 'I was certain that I could improve his quality of life and that he’d be able to look at the world straight rather than upside down.’

Fundraiser Julie, who works as a secondary school careers co-ordinator, launched a crowd funding website after she read about Mahendra's plight and desperately wanted to help. She said: ‘It was tragic to see pictures of Mahendra as he was. All I could think about was my own son and how I’d feel if he was in that situation.' In February Mahendra spent a fortnight in Apollo hospital before being allowed to go home to recover in the hope his neck would not bend again.

Now, seven months on, his neck is still straight and Mahendra’s future is looking much brighter. 'I can finally say we are a happy family now,' Mukesh said. 'Happiness has found our address after Mahendra’s surgery. I feel so blessed.' Now Mahendra is going to the local school and is learning to write.

Mukesh said: 'His mum and I had never thought about sending him to school before because he was never able to go. But now we have a responsibility to help him get an education. It’s possible for him now.' Dr Krishnan will continue to monitor Mahendra's progress but so far he’s overjoyed with his recovery. He said: 'It’s remarkable to see him today. He’s now able to hold his head up straight and his instrumented levels are fusing well. The X-rays have shown no failures so far.

'I am pleasantly surprised by his progress. A multiple level fusion in a child his age could have failed so to see him recover like this is wonderful. 'He seems to have changed from a quiet diffident boy into an extrovert and articulate young man. He is more active and his family say he doesn’t need supervision as much now.

'I’ll continue to see him every three months over the next year. If his neck remains stable, especially at the craniocervical junction, I will be ecstatic. I expect he will need further surgery one day and I’ll need to see him regularly in anticipation of this problem. But now I expect him to live a normal life span and a lot more comfortably than he has done over the last 12 years.'

www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3825653/It-s-miracle-Boy-13-head-hanging-180-degree-angle-finally-world-right-way-life-changing-surgery-India.html?ito=social-facebook_Australia

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