A young Indian boy, who lived all his life with a deformity, was offered a life-changing surgery when a woman from thousands of miles away decided to help him to live a normal life.
Mahendra Ahirwar, from central India’s Madhya Pradesh, was suffering from a rare condition that caused his head to hang upside-down.
The 13-year-old boy suffers from congenital myopathy. It is a muscle disorder that results in extreme weakness and can lead to death. In most of the cases, there is not a cure for congenital myopathy, but this condition may be improved through physical therapy and other treatments.
Mahendra Ahirwar was completely depended on his mother. He lived in constant pain. Since no one could treat him, his parents stopped taking him to the doctors.
Julie Jones, from Liverpool, England, decided to help him, when she read about his condition.
Jones said: “While everyone was looking to help, no one was actually doing anything. So there and then, I got out my laptop, found a crowd-funding website and created an account.”
Jones succeeded in raising $17,500 for surgery and treatment, in less than a month.
The doctor who accepted the risk of the surgery was Dr. Rajagopalan Krishnan at Apollo Hospital. A documentary team followed the teen and his family as they traveled to New Delhi.
Dr. Krishnan explained :“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 but I had to be sure I wouldn’t kill him.”
The film makers connected Mahendra with his savior, Jones.
Jones spent a few days with Mahendra and his family in the hospital. “It was hard going, especially with the film cameras in my face,” she remembered. “I felt vulnerable and barely slept the first night but when I finally met Mahendra and his family at the hospital it was all worth it.”
She added: “Even though it was a short visit, I’d bonded with Mahendra and it broke my heart that I may never see him again.”
After the surgery, Mahendra’s life has changed and he feels positive about his future.
Mahendra said: “I had no hope of getting better in life but now I’m ok my dreams have risen up. I want to be successful in life now.”