Boy with head at a 180-degree angle receives life-changing surgery, thanks to strangers’ love
The future of Indian boy Mahendra Ahirwar once looked so bleak.
The 13-year-old, whose head hung at a 180-degree angle, was an outcast in his own village. He was unable to stand straight or walk, and needed help to eat and go to the toilet. Even his desperate parents said they would rather he die than continue to suffer.
But everything changed thanks to the love and kindness of strangers from around the world.
Shortly after his sad story was publicized, Mahendra received life-changing surgery to straighten his neck – for free.
After reading about the boy’s tragic plight, Julie Jones, a mother-of-two from Britain, decided to help. She initiated a fund-raising website, and soon received overwhelming support – within 28 days the page had raised 12,000 British pounds, which made Mahendra’s operation possible.
Then Dr. Rajagopalan Krishnan, a senior consultant and spinal surgeon from Apollo Hospital in Delhi, offered to perform the risky surgery. The medical team opened up the front part of Mahendra’s neck – leaving the front of his cervical spine completely exposed.
Now Mahendra can finally see the world “straight.” The boy’s father, Mukesh, told the Daily Mail: “He looks great. His neck is straight. His life is so very different.”
Dr. Krishnan said he will continue to monitor Mahendra’s progress but so far he’s overjoyed with the boy’s recovery.
“It’s remarkable to see him today. He’s now able to hold his head up straight and his instrumented levels are fusing well,” he said. “The X-rays have shown no failures so far.”
“I’ll continue to see him every three months over the next year,” Dr. Krishnan continued. “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.” (Photos credited to Cover Asia Press)