Reconstructive Milestone: A Patient of courage who defied destiny

Neha( Name of patient changed), a 20 year old girl was hit by a truck while crossing a road in Noida. She had sustained such devastating injuries that when she was brought to triage where I saw her first, even I could not give her a chance to survive the injury, let alone the thought of her being able to be on her feet again and lead a near normal life.

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Patient on the day of injury as seen in Triage.

However, subsequent to multiple surgeries (Six to be precise) we removed all dead and damaged tissue. She underwent laparotomy also for ruptured spleen and intestines. Eventually we were able to cover all the wounds with skin graft which was the maximum that could be done at that stage. We ended up with her condition as in the photograph below.

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During all these surgeries she had shown unbelievable courage, self belief and ability to bear the pain and miseries. This is what defined her as an outstanding ‘ PATIENT OF COURAGE’.

Her abdominal wall was severely fibrosedand  we could anticipate that she will not be able to bear a child with the hard board like abdominal wall that she had.

We reconstructed her abdominal wall with a pair of TISSUE EXPANDERS to give her a normal abdomen which would be allowed to expand normally at the time of pregnancy to accommodate the growing foetus.

The next big challenge was to reconstruct her right thigh which was just the bone and skin for most of it. We had to get a custom made Tissue expander specially ordered from US as we needed a much bigger expander than even the largest tissue expander available.

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Various stages of Tissue expansion of Thigh

Eventually we were able to completely reconstruct her right thigh.

Today this girl has completed her B.Ed. and waiting to join as a teacher in a school. She will be able to live an absolutely normal life and also will be able to bear her own child.

This girl has proved a common proverb :“ Nothing is impossible if you have the courage & determination to do it.”

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