Chart of Life: Part 21.

Author: | Posted on: July 12, 2012

Sometimes there are moments that are filled with despair, heart break and defeat; but it is often at these times that a discovery can be made that shifts your heart’s strength of instinct and restores your faith.

The aim to operate had been quick and within a few days the plans had been made.  The surgical team were prepared and ready to take on the life saving trial.  A trial in surgical hands of which were sure but could promise no guarantee of a fully positive outcome.

The Consultant had explained in assured terms that any damage already done to the spinal cord would be permanent and could not be put right.  The predicament for the surgeons now was just on how they could proceed in an operation whereby the first C1 bone to the neck was so unstable; the pioneering treatment was radical and as a medical event one which had brought on a number of minds to work together in how to provide a solution. 

The Miracle was in itself the fact that the compression of the spinal cord had been found out during and at a time for the National Medical Convention for Neuro-Suregery.

It would never be a realistic plausibility to have every finest Consultant in the field of spinal research all gathered together in the one convention at the one time; and in the specific situation of this one little girl this had become a reality.  With her MRI scans, X-Ray pictures and slides which had been obtained from various tests, armed with all this documentation and information, her particulars were paraded before the mass of surgeons and experts in the field.

Whether this be the chance of a lifetime, or some inexplicable intervention was not debated but more the crucially lack of time meant that the surgery had to take place as rapidly as possible.  The absolute look of shocks and denial on the faces of those assembled doctors was relayed by the Consultant who said it was an ominous hushed silence which broke out when the slides were put up at the screen that afternoon.  The words and comments from the room were all to the effect that the patient was no doubt dead; and this was shown by means of analysis to learn from for other generations. 

Not a one believed that the patient could still be alive; with such compression of the first stage of the spinal cord the Consultant explained that no one would give credit to the fact that if she still lived she would have any movement or senses from her shoulders down at all. 

The operation would in general terms entail two parts; the first with the bone surrounding the first vertebra removed and then exposing the area which needed to be operated on, with any normal cervical compression this would be the protocol, therefore the second medical tier of the operation could be left to be done a few days after the first.  In any usual compression as such, in a removal of second or third vertebra would have left the operating team being able to cut into and take off the first and offending bone, leaving the spinal cord released and open, it would allow for the team to take the patient into Intensive Care to recover and recuperate until the second stage of the operation could be taken on; this stage meaning that the spinal cord could be checked and a bone graft instilled.  Although in the individual little girl who needed the procedure no conventional attempts could be made, as her status was somewhat more complicated and typically went against the norm.

As much as the miracle had helped to provide the right attention from the collative operative staff, it was also with a dilema of glaring emergency and problematic predicament with which she faced the onslought of hospital doctors.

In the individual chart of the little girl, her problem meant that the team and the National meeting of the few Consultants who had offered to unite in their efforts and put their heads together on a planning and practical operation that would never have been done before.

Due and because of the primary nature of the girl’s condition, it was the first bone in her neck which had forced the spinal cord into a point of either severing or enforcing paralysis and as a means of this the conventional operation would be too dangerous to put into practice as it would leave her head without any support. 

The Doctors and assembled highly skilled team; they knew that with a removal of the pivitol first bone in the spine, there would be a series of problems:

  • no Intensive Care unit could ever assure that they could care for such a vulnerable and exposed patient.
  • Having the first stage of the operation complete it would leave the head without any basis of support and this could impede any means of recovery

The Consultant took the little girl’s mother aside and laid out the finer issues that they had to face and stated that the normal procedure could be done through the oral and throat area of the patient but if this was done in the little girl’s case this would be impossible.  The placement of the offending bone; it meant that any intervention of this nature would leave her spinal cord too vulnerable.

It was a distressing time, one where the mother would have swapped lives with her child a thousand times over.  The Consulting team had gathered several leading experts and they had all found the medical state one which was as perplexing as it was phenomenol.

To simply have the little girl able to move and walk at all was momentous.  It was not explainable by Science.

The staff gathered and went into discussions.  It was a dark time due to the uncertainty and as the little girl was wheeled in her small bed through the many doors and the many corridors the only thing left to rely on was that the event awaiting them would be one more test.  Another machine with wires, probes and despite this the little patient never wavered.  Her arms streched out for the impending probes to fit, it was as one such experiment was being undertaken at Great Ormond Street Hospital that the small actions of one incident were to bring about the inspiration which could carry them through.

It was as the man was placing the electrodes on the little girl that he looked to the white machine, a daunting site to the little girl but a life line that she knew would provide the needed analysis from which her Consultant could work; it was as she watched the strain turn to confusion turn to wonderment on the man’s face that she started to look to her mother in both fear and puzzlement.  The technisian and the look on his expression was not one to forget…the concern as he addressed the machine time and time again with adjustmets and then moving his hands to new positions to see if it would make a difference but when this also did not prove to give the answers he needed it was with a look of almost disturbance he turned to the mother and child to say he did not understand why the machine which was well trusted could give a result of 0 for movement reading below the head when the little patient was able to demonstrate full feeling in all legs and arms and as he was saying this his eyes caught the tiny necklace of one Sai Baba which fell out appropriately and seemed to give him all the answers he needed.

 It was undeniably a point for consideration that one more man in the hospital appeared to know so much about the man they had gone to see for healing.  One more person who was comfounded by the machine and the way in which it was acting contradictory to the little girl’s physical stamina and ability.  One person who joined the long line of staff who had a story of their own to tell: as this gentleman too knew of the holy man but it was through his friend who had gone to visit him and given his life to the work and helping of the healing without taking any pains to attempting to live a life as he and his peers did in London, it was with such conviction he said and replied to their choice that they did not know of the feats and inspirations which could come to be; and it was with this same seriousness that he looked to the little girl and her mother that afternoon in a busy hospital ward in England and said well there may be more to his theory than I first thought.

Some occasions provide us a reason to look beyond the predictions of the people and the harsh obstacles which can face us; as some seconds can turn the bleakest proposition into the most radiant and jubilant.  It can be these moments that shine the most bright due to their offering of there being some unforseen hands that can help us when we least expect it.

Then came the moment of truth;

we had the miraclous prevention,

the life saving one

no doubt

we came to ask for more

Ignoring the appreciation of the gift of life,

the gift that came to us as our daughter,

If you think,

The gift that we took for granted,

Until we came so close,

To the brink,

Of loosing everything in the blink,

Of our eye,

We received the necklace as a present,

Just before we left,

We did not know the value,

Until we discovered the danger,

We could see in her neck,

This which existed,

We then knew why it was a picture,

A symbol which had to be hung there,

We then knew it was a blessing,

A gift,

To be given in security of a miraculous cure and blessing,

Which came also as a Farewell.

Read more next Thursday.

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