Bullet injury paralyses girl despite artificial bone surgery

Bullet injury paralyses girl despite artificial bone surgery

 A five-inch piece of artificial bone brought from Australia has saved the life of a teenager, victim of a stray bullet fired during a marriage celebration.

However, her left limbs remain paralysed and her speech is unclear.
Sadhana, 17, was standing in her balcony  ast year in Shahbad, Mohammadpur near IGI airport on May 6 last year, overlooking a marriage procession. A bullet hit her in the face, entered her brain and got stuck there.

She was first taken to a local hospital and then to Max Superspecialty Hospital in Saket, where the bullet was removed. Doctors also performed a “decompressive craniectomy”, temporarily removing a part of her skull to make space for the swelling due to the injury.

“This procedure is performed in cases of brain stroke or injury. After the swelling is over, the removed bone is put back in its original place,” said Dr V K Jain, chairperson of neurosciences at Sir Ganga Ram Hospital.

After keeping Sadhana in the intensive care unit (ICU) for three months under the economically weaker section (EWS) category, Max Hospital asked her to leave.

As she still needed hospitalisation, Sadhana was referred to Rockland Hospital where she spent a month. Sadhana’s father Rajbir Singh, a former security guard, said the family then went back to their village in Madhya Pradesh.

In February this year, when Singh approached Max for replacing the bone, he was told she cannot be re-admitted again under the EWS category. After the intervention of Delhi Commission for Women and members of Delhi government’s monitoring committee for EWS patients, she was admitted at Ganga Ram Hospital.

The first surgery there failed because the piece of bone broke after being put back in the skull. The bone had got de-mineralised, said Dr Jain who was treating her. On August 29, another surgery was performed with the artificial bone from  Australia.

“The bone is made of acrylic and functions more or less like the original bone,” said Dr Jain. It cost Rs 2.5 lakh, paid by the hospital EWS treatment rules. But the paralysis of her left leg and arm will remain as a result of the permanent damage to the brain, Dr Jain said. Her speech may remain defective.

The accused refused to pay for Sadhana’s treatment saying it will be done only if the family takes back the FIR against him, her father said.

Her lawyer Ashok Aggarwal said they are now filing a case seeking comepnsation of Rs 25 lakh from each of the three parties. “We are invoking article 21 of the Constitution which guarantees right to life,” he said. “The accused is the prime culprit. Firing in celebrations is illegal, but unfortunately the practice is still going on. Police have to take it seriously.”

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