Ten years and 18-hour surgery later, boy set to walk normally

After an 18-hour long surgery on a 10-year old boy, who as a newborn was abandoned in the fields near Varanasi and was mauled by a wild animal, 12 doctors from the Bombay Hospital on Saturday helped reconstruct his damaged leg. Manish Singh from Varanasi in UP will now be discharged after spending more than two months in the hospital.

Ten years and 18-hour surgery later, boy set to walk normally

The 18-hour supra-major surgery on his right leg involved two anaesthetists, two paediatric surgeons, three orthopaedic surgeons, five plastic surgeons, and 12 nursing staff.

“We have put a fixator on his leg, which after some months may have to be removed. For that he may need to undergo one more surgery,” said Dr Ashok Gupta, a plastic surgeon who has been looking after the boy’s health for the past ten years, and who also led the team of doctors in this marathon surgery.

As previously reported by dna, the surgery known as muscle transfer involves taking muscle and blood vessels from other parts of the body and attaching them to the part which needs reconstruction. In the boy’s case, the surgery had to be repeated as his height grew. His first surgery was when he was four months old, the doctor said, the second surgery when he was five, and now the third when he is ten.

“When he turns 15, we have to see the situation and take the call on another surgery,” Gupta said.

Within hours of birth, with his umbilical cord still trailing from him, Manish had been dumped in a sugarcane field in a village near Varanasi. Here, what may have been a wild dog tore apart the entire thigh and the calf muscle of his right leg. Seeing him lying in a bloody puddle, a farm labourer brought him to a local hospital. From then onwards, Manish had to undergo a ten-year odyssey through medical rooms and operation theatres. He grew up with extensive damage to the blood vessels, muscles, nerve and skin in the affected parts. He could not lift his ankle or walk properly.

His foster mother Nirmala Singh said she was thankful to the Bombay Hospital. Singh and Manish stay in the SOS Children’s Villages, an NGO in Varanasi.

Bombay hospital has decided to waive off the cost of the surgery, about Rs. 6 lakhs.