Early last month, we reported about a 13-year-old boy in India whose head was hanging at a 180-degree angle. Latest update has it that he’s died just eight months after life-changing surgery to fix it. Mahendra Ahirwar, who suffered from a rare condition called congenital myopathy which made the muscles in his neck so weak his head would hang, passed away suddenly.
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 in February this year, 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 since my return to India and I see the most terrible and neglected deformities.’ ‘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.
‘I am sure his absence will cause anguish to everyone who was involved in his care, his smile was brighter than the sun after his neck was straightened.’
The family cremated Mahendra in a traditional Hindu ceremony at the weekend, surrounded by 25 friends and family.