When she was born with cerebral palsy, a doctor told Bhoomi Manjunatha’s parents she would never. Now, at 5 years old, the little girl is proving them wrong.
Inside Edition reports that Bhoomi, from Ohio, has always used a walker or wheelchair to get around. But experts at the renowned Nationwide Children’s Hospital assessed Bhoomi and felt she could likely walk just as anyone else with a bit of medical help.
In November 2016, surgeons at the hospital developed an operation procedure for Bhoomi. After going through the life-changing operation and participating in six months of physical therapy and inpatient rehabilitation, Bhoomi is now taking baby steps.
She can stand on her two feet and take short steps, but physicians predict that if she keeps practicing and participating in physical therapy and rehabilitation, she’ll one day never have to use a wheelchair again.
The surgery, known as selective dorsal rhizotomy, was performed on the 5-year-old’s lower spine.
“The surgery went well, but the parents sort of look at me funny when I say, “My part is actually kind of easy”,’ said Dr. Jeffrey Leonard, the physician who led the operation.
Bhoomi was born with spastic cerebral palsy, the most common form of the disorder, affecting around 70% to 80% of all people diagnosed with the CP. Some of the symptoms can include
-Involuntary limb movement
-Inability to walk unassisted
Along with spinal cord surgery, other treatment options for children with spastic cerebral palsy include medication, occupational therapy, constraint-induced therapy, and muscle and tendon operational procedures.
Bhoomi’s mom, Sushma, said that her daughter was excited about the surgery, but as a young child, she thought that she’d magically be able to walk right after the operation.
“She was so excited about this surgery thinking it is going to be a magical cut and she’ll be all good, but it took a lot of effort from her to get where she is today,” Sushma said.
Dr. Leonard said the next step for Bhoomi is to straighten her legs, which will allow her to support her upper muscles when walking. Dr. Leonard thinks that given Bhoomi’s enthusiasm and eagerness to walk on her own, it will only be a matter of time before she’s walking without any assistance.
Bhoomi is bright and energetic, you can see that from her smile. She is motivated and did everything that the therapist asked of her, working really hard in rehabilitation. I think she is going to be dramatically affected in a very positive manner after having undergone the rhizotomy.”