Meet the Delhi doctor who saved the life of a Pakistani girl who suffered a life-threatening neck injury

A 13-year-old girl from Pakistan, who suffered from a rare muscle-rotating disorder, underwent successful surgery in India and has returned to her normal life, all thanks to this doctor in Delhi.

Dr. Rajagopalan Krishnan, a specialist in complex spine surgery at Apollo Hospital in Delhi, offered to do Afsheen’s surgery for free. Four months later, she can finally walk, talk and eat independently. The wounds from her surgery have healed. Dr. Krishnan checks on her weekly via Skype.


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Afsheen Gul’s injury

The life of Afsheen Gul from Pakistan’s Sindh province had been a little different. The youngest of seven siblings, she never went to school and never played with her friends. Until now, she spent her life in her home in Mithi.

That’s because there was an accident – she fell out of her sister’s arm when she was just 10 months old – which caused her neck to bend 90 degrees. Her parents took her to the doctor who gave her some medicine and put a belt around her neck for support, but her condition only worsened.

“She couldn’t walk, eat or talk. She just lay on the floor and we helped her with everything,” Afsheen’s mother, Jamilan Bibi, told the BBC, adding that they could not afford further treatment.

Her life changed

But her life changed when they received a call from “messiah” – Dr. Rajagopalan Krishnan. “This is probably the first case of its kind in the world,” he said, according to the report.

Afsheen Gul suffered from atlanto-axial rotatory dislocation, a rotation of the spine that causes neck damage. Afsheen also suffers from cerebral palsy and learned to walk and speak very later in life, which pushed her further behind other children her age.

“She’s a bit weak – and still can’t go to school – but the doctor says it will get better with time,” said Yaqoob Qumbar, Afsheen’s brother. “We are so happy – the doctor saved my sister’s life. He is an angel to us,” says Qumbar.

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In 2019, a British journalist reported on her condition and her family’s financial position. He also put the family in touch with Dr Krishnan in Delhi, who spoke to Qumbar and told him that he was willing to help Afsheen. The family applied for a visa on medical grounds and arrived in India in November last year. An independent childcare organization, Darul Sukoon, helped them through the process.

She underwent two major surgeries

Afsheen underwent two major surgeries before the head and neck surgery, which was followed by another major surgery.

The main operation took place in February. Dr. Krishan told the BBC that he and his team attached Afsheen’s skull to her spinal cord during a six-hour operation. The skull was then attached to the cervical spine with a stick and screws to keep the neck straight.

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To Skype

After the surgery was successful, Dr Krishnan told reporters that Afsheen would not have lived long without treatment. But she’s smiling and talking now, Qumbar said in July when he posted a picture of his smiling sister on Facebook a day before Eid. However, there are some complications – she’s still slower than other kids, many of whom often judge her for that, her brother says.

For more information on news and current affairs from around the world, visit Indiatimes news.

Meet the Delhi doctor who saved the life of a Pakistani girl who suffered a life-threatening neck injury

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