A 5-year-old girl from Ohio has taken her first steps after battling cerebral palsy her entire life.
Instead of learning to crawl and walk, Bhoomi Manjunatha has relied on wheelchairs since she was born. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and spasticity, which causes her muscles to be stiff and tight, as well as difficult to control.
But after a miracle surgery performed in January at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, and months of physical rehabilitation, little Bhoomi is taking her first steps.
“It took a lot of effort for her to get where she is today,” her mom Sushma Manjunatha said, according to the hospital's press release.
Bhoomi was chosen to receive a cutting-edge spinal surgery, selective dorsal rhizotomy, in which surgeons cut out nerve roots in the spine that cause muscles to tense up.
“The surgery went well, but my part is easy,” said Dr. Jeffrey Leonard, the hospital’s chief of neurosurgery. “It is Bhoomi who has months of hard work and therapy ahead of her to strengthen her muscles to take advantage of her new-found mobility.”
But four months later, the little fighter is learning to walk with the help of a walker. Her mom even commented that her legs look strong and straight except for a little weakness in her knees. Bhoomi is also in less pain than she was before.
“She was so excited about this surgery,” Sushma said.