A teenager from Pakistan whose neck has been twisted a painful ninety-degree angle since she was eight months old can finally hold her head up thanks to radical life-changing surgery.
Afsheen Gul fell over while she was playing outside almost 13 years ago and since then she has been in constant pain.
But thanks to a fundraising campaign on GoFundMe, Afsheen’s parents were able to pay for a £26,000 miracle operation at the Apollo Hospital, in New Delhi.
Afsheen, who has cerebral palsy, was born healthy but an accidental slip when she was still toddler led to the bizarre injury.
He parents assumed it would get better of its own accord but the condition persisted and, lacking the money for proper medical care, tried a faith healer to no avail.
A newspaper story about her condition brought wider attention to Afsheen’s plight and that led to a GoFundMe page being set up to raise the money for her surgery.
Even so, the Apollo medical team gave Afsheen no more than a 50% chance of surviving the procedure.
Dr Rajagopalan Krishnan, who worked for the NHS for 15 years before returning to India, said: “Her brother Yaqoob got in touch with me after seeing a documentary I had done where I had successfully operated on a boy with a similar condition.
"I was certain I could improve her quality of life but I had to see her first. If we left it any longer the chances of her recovering from any surgery were slim”.
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Afshan’s surgery was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic but last week the operation finally went ahead.
Her head still has to be supported by a HALO cradle but for almost the first time in her lfe, Afshan is able to straighten in her neck.
After the surgery, Afsheen wrote on Instagram: “Thank you Dr. Rajagopalan Krishnan for giving me a new life”.
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