A team of doctors in Kochi has given Shreya Siddanagowda a new life through a rare surgery, claimed to be the first of its kind in Asia, by transplanting a 20-year-old man's arms in place of her forearms.
Last September, the 19-year-old engineering student, lost both her hands in a bus accident.
It may have been a coincidence that Shreya along with her parents and the team of doctors shared the story with media a year after a bus accident permanently scarred her life last year.
"I am just happy that I have hands now. Looks don't matter. I want to start re-using my hands and be independent as soon as possible," Shreya said
On September 28th last year, Shreya was travelling to Manipal Institute of Technology, when her bus met with an accident. Though she managed to crawl out of the overturned bus, she soon realised that there was no movement in her hands.
Recalling that fateful incident, the 20-year-old said, "On the first day in the ICU, as I waited for my parents to arrive from Pune, doctors told me that they would have to amputate one of my arms. I was devastated but there was hope that I had the other. But four days later, the doctors said they would have to amputate my second arm too; I felt as if it was the end of the world."
She tried using prosthetic arms, but, they could not meet most of her routine needs. A year later, however, she finally found a donor in 20-year-old Sachin, a BCom final-year student from Ernakulam who was declared brain-dead after a motorcycle accident.
Her determination and zest for life, even after facing such adversities is nothing less than inspirational. What is also commendable is the unwavering confidence with which she addressed the media on Wednesday and dealt undauntedly with the obvious but unasked question regarding the structural and colour mismatch.
Talking about this unique case, Subramania Iyer, head, plastic and reconstructive surgery, Amrita Institute of Medical Science (AIMS), said, "Upper arm transplants are more challenging than a wrist or forearm surgery due to the complexity involved in accurately identifying and connecting various nerves, muscles, tendons and arteries."
As the transplants were done in the middle of the upper arm, it will take Shreya around two years to fully use her hands. "Only eight such cases exist in the world. We are hopeful that Shreya will get at least 70% functionality in her hands," said Mohit Sharma, who was part of the AIMS team.
It’s her determination and optimism that keep her going. "I am sure that in some time I will be able to get back to college. I am determined," she said.
Cover image source: newindianexpress
Information source: navbharattimes