7 Nov 2016

Boy with His Head Hanging at a 180-degree Angle, Dies Months after Successful Surgery


13-year-old Mahendra Ahirwar, had a rare condition that made his neck muscles so weak his head hung at a 180-degree angle, which made him restricted to just sitting as he was unable to stand or walk and needed help to eat and go to the toilet.

His life had been transformed, thanks to a stranger, mother-of-two, Julie Jones (pictured with him above) living 4,000 miles away in Liverpool who read about his plight and launched a crowd funding page to raise £12,000 for his surgery.

He has now died just eight months after the life-changing surgery to fix it. His mother Sumitra, 36, said he had his lunch, lay down to watch TV and died quietly and in no pain.

Dr Rajagopalan Krishnan, who completed the surgery to straighten his neck, said he was left shocked by his sudden death. He said: 'I can only conjecture that a massive cardiac or pulmonary event might have occurred and often there are no premonitory symptoms in such cases.

I think myopathy and poor chest muscles caught up with him in the end. He was among the bravest children I’ve seen. For me, the joy and smile on his face when his head stopped sagging was one of the defining moments in my decision to operate on children with neglected and awful spinal disorders." The family cremated Mahendra in a traditional Hindu ceremony at the weekend, surrounded by 25 friends and family.

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