A young man who suffers from a debilitating spinal condition and became known as the “folded boy” has received a life-changing surgery that has finally straightened his body.
Jiang Yanchen, 19, was given a chance at a normal life by expert medics at the Peking University First Hospital, in China’s capital.
Despite being previously told there was no cure for his unique condition, doctors were able to correct his 180-degree fold after a series of complex operations.
Back in May, Jiang met with Dr Wang Yu, the Chief Physician at the Department of Orthopedics at the hospital, who agreed to take on the challenge despite the risk of leaving him paralysed if anything went wrong.
After consulting with medical experts from eight different departments, he came up with a delicate course of treatment.
Several operations and five months later, Jiang was able to return to his home in Xiajin, in southern Shandong Province, and mark a fresh milestone on the road to recovery.
According to his mother, Yu Meiying, Jiang was born a normal boy like any other.
But as he grew older, she said she began to realise he had a serious deformity.
Compared to ordinary people, Jiang was only three feet tall, and his whole body seemed to be “folded” in half by an invisible force.
As the condition continued to worsen, when Jiang stood, only one hand could fit between his head and spine.
Throughout his school years, Jiang faced challenges, unable to sit like other children in class. His life, including eating, sleeping, and studying, was spent mostly in a “kneeling” position.
However, in the face of physical imperfections, Jiang never despaired or gave up.
He said: “I am trying my best to make myself comprehensive. In case I recover in the future, I want to be a capable person and contribute to society.”
As Jiang left the hospital, his mum encouraged him: “Soon, you’ll be able to walk on your own and you won’t need a wheelchair.”
She added: “I gave him life for the first time, and Dr Wang Yu has given him a second chance at life.”