“Folded Man” with Ankylosing Spondylitis Stands Up After 28 Years

Li's journey began at the age of 19, when he first experienced symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis.
Ankylosing spondylitis (Representational image: Wikimedia commons)
Ankylosing spondylitis (Representational image: Wikimedia commons)

Chinese man Li Hua conquered nearly three decades of severe pain and paralysis brought on by the autoimmune condition ankylosing spondylitis. This rare condition, affecting approximately 200,000 individuals in the UK, leads to the fusion of bones and severe spinal curvature, making the patients unable to stand straight or perform everyday activities without assistance.

Li's journey began at the age of 19, when he first experienced symptoms of ankylosing spondylitis. Over the years, his condition worsened, leaving him folded over, unable to stand or lie down comfortably. Its impact on his body was massive, requiring regular care from his loving mom, Tang Dongchen, in rural China. Despite their best efforts, financial limitations prevented them from receiving medical treatment.

However, in 2020, a ray of hope appeared when Li was introduced to Dr. Tao Huiren at Shenzhen University General Hospital. Recognizing the importance of Li's situation, Dr. Tao compared the suggested procedures to climbing Mount Everest, highlighting the risks involved. Determined, Li and his mother went on a journey of hope, ready to face the challenges involved.

After the last hip joint replacement surgery, Li was able to stand for the first time in his 28 years. (Representational image: Unsplash)
After the last hip joint replacement surgery, Li was able to stand for the first time in his 28 years. (Representational image: Unsplash)

The surgical surgery involved four intricate procedures intended for breaking and repairing Li's bones in order to restore joint mobility. The first surgery, a femoral osteotomy, prepared the way for the following procedures by enlarging the gap between Li's face and thigh bones. Despite the complexities and risks involved, including the possibility of paralysis or death, the surgeries were a huge success.

With each procedure, Li experienced progressive benefits, resulting in a revolutionary outcome. After the last hip joint replacement surgery, Li was able to stand for the first time in his 28 years. His tearful reunion with his mother highlighted the significant effects of the procedures on both their mutual hope for a better future and his physical health.

Despite facing challenges during recovery, including muscle atrophy and the need for ongoing support from his mother, Li remains strong in his hope. He has made great progress toward his recovery goals, and now he is able to carry out everyday tasks independently.

(Input from various media sources)

(Rehash/ Susmita Bhandary/MSM)

Ankylosing spondylitis (Representational image: Wikimedia commons)
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