Doctors at Metro Heart Institute, Faridabad have helped a 28-year-old Iraqi solider to walk again after seven years by removing a piece of missile splinter that got stuck in his spinal cord when he was injured during a bomb blast in Baghdad in 2003.

Falah Mohammad, who was fighting against the U.S. Army then was 21-years-old at the time of the attack. He was not able to walk without help ever since the injury.

Speaking at a press conference , Falah said: “I cannot forget the evening of April 6, 2003 when an American fighter plane fired a missile which led to the explosion that killed 500 people and injured several hundred. After I was hit I became unconscious and was admitted to a hospital in Baghdad where I was treated. But since the splinter had lodged itself deep in the spinal cord subsequent treatments and surgeries were of no help till I reached India and got my surgery done here. I am now eager to go back home and begin my life with my wife.''

Metro Hospital chairman Dr. Purushottam Lal gave out the details of the surgery. “At the time of admission early this month Falah had severe back pain which was radiating to left lower limb. He had weakness in both feet and he used to drag both feet to walk. There was pus discharge from the left flank wound. An X-ray and spiral CT scan with three-D reconstruction were done to see the exact location of missile piece before undertaking the surgery. Falah improved neurologically the very next day of the surgery. The pain has disappeared, the weakness in both lower limbs has improved significantly and now he is walking properly without support. His operation was conducted on July 11 and it took our team of doctors nine hours to dislodge and remove the splinter from the patients spine.''

Falah claimed that doctors in Baghdad did not remove the splinter from his spine because of its location and removing the piece could have led to paralysis of both the lower limbs.

Chief neurosurgeon Alok Gupta who conducted the surgery said: “During the surgery when we opened his spinal cord we realised that the nerves were densely adherent to each other and going through the cord could lead to profound neurological deficit. So the bone was drilled laterally around the missile piece and it was removed without damaging the cord. Also neurological recovery does not happen so late after seven years which was seen in this case''

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