15-year-old scoliosis patient, fights back life post board exams, resumes education
Severe progression of Scoliosis affected lung and respiratory function of 15-year-old Aishwarya Gopalakrishnan leaving her in a breathless state
Mumbai: Only two months ago, 15-year-old girl was fighting for life on the ventilator. Her worsening spinal curvature due to advanced scoliosis had compressed her lungs causing extremely low oxygen saturation. After a week of being on respiratory support system, complex spinal correction surgery and prolonged recovery period, the teenager has jumped back on her feet, ready to resume her academic and social life.
“Her online classes started in May but she couldn’t attend due to prolonged hospitalisation and recovery. From the first week of June, she started attending the online classes with determination to excel in her academic front. She is also able to walk with support & getting back to the routine activities,” said Gopalakrishnan, her beaming father.
The girl was suffering from Scoliosis—a gradually increasing curvature of the spine that most often occurs during the growth spurt just before puberty. However, in her case, severity of the condition was causing curvature of the spine along with frequent bouts of breathlessness.
“She had studied intensely throughout the year to excelling in the Board X exams. In-spite of the breathlessness, she attempted all subject papers with pure grit and determination. But as soon as the exam was over, we rushed her to the hospital,” said her father, Gopalakrishnan.
Post thorough clinical evaluation, the team of paediatricians diagnosed that the gradual curvature of her spine was compressing the lungs, causing the breathlessness. If not attended immediately, the condition could’ve been fatal.
Dr. Mihir Bapat, Director & Senior Consultant, Nanavati Institute of Spine Surgery spearheaded the team that decided to perform a complex spinal correction. “Correcting the curvature of spine was the only option to decompress her lungs and permanently stabilise the breathing function. We at Nanavati Hospital were at the forefront at forming policies for COVID as well as Non-COVID emergency procedures, which made it possible for us to perform such as critical, emergency procedure amidst the pandemic,” said Dr Bapat.
All necessary infection control procedures were put in place for the patient, staff and surgical team prior to the surgery. Post a successful surgery, Aishwarya was gradually weaned off the ventilator and could breathe normally. Within two weeks she was able to perform her routine activities.
Speaking at the successful procedure, Mr. Manpreet Sohal, Director & Chief Operating Officer, explained how Nanavati Hospital has managed to perform several Non-COVID lifesaving procedures while treating high number of COVID patients.
“A spew of infection control measures were implemented from the start of COVID-19 outbreak. Starting from splitting the hospital in Red and Green Zones to demarcate COVID and Non-COVID areas, creating twin facilities for essential departments such as Triage area for Screening and Testing, Accident and Emergency, Dialysis, Intensive Care Units & Operation Theaters amongst others. While we are fighting the COVID pandemic, it’s absolutely essential to create a safe environment to attend & operate Non-COVID emergencies to ensure more lives can be saved,” said Mr Sohal.