A 17-YEAR-OLD girl from a rural village in Xinyi, a southwestern city in Guangdong, has undergone surgery in Shenzhen to fix her humped back after receiving financial aid from a Dongguan entrepreneur, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported yesterday.
The girl, identified as Pingping, had a humpback since she was 10, because of a spinal neurofibroma. A neurofibroma is a benign nerve sheath tumor in the peripheral nervous system. It is a rare genetic disease that can result in a range of symptoms from physical disfiguration and pain to cognitive disability.
Pingping hadn’t been able to walk normally because of the humpback and had to stay at home since May 2016. Her mother, surnamed Zhang, said the family couldn’t afford the girl’s medical treatment, so they called a GDTV program for help.
Pingping’s story caught the attention of the entrepreneur from Dongguan, surnamed Chen, while he was watching the TV program. Chen visited Pingping’s home in late 2016 and decided to sponsor the girl’s medical treatment.
Pingping was hospitalized at the University of Hong Kong-Shenzhen Hospital (HKU-SZH) last March, when her scoliosis curve reached 155 degrees. After seven months of traction treatment, her scoliosis curve measured at about 100 degrees last November.
On Nov. 7 last year, doctors performed a 10-hour surgery to remove Pingping’s neurofibroma by removing part of her vertebrae and used titanium alloy screws and rods to adjust her curved vertebrae. The surgery went smoothly and Pingping was able to walk by herself the next day.
After a monthlong rehabilitation process, Pingping made a good recovery and was discharged from the hospital early last month.
Chen covered all of the girl’s medical bills as well as her living expenses while she was staying at the hospital, according to the report.