Salma Suleiman, a twelve-year-old girl from Nairobi, Kenya received life transforming spine surgery with the help of the NuVasive Spine Foundation, January 4, 2012.
Salma’s severe congenital scoliosis was discovered during a NuVasive Spine Foundation mission trip in June 2010, when Salma was brought to the Spine Injury Hospital by her mother and grandmother. Desperate to receive treatment, Salma’s scoliosis was so extreme, she would eventually die from suffocation or related heart failure if left untreated.
The NuVasive Spine Foundation took action by planning and executing all logistics from visa assistance, providing a care taker and paying for all travel cost so Salma could receive treatment at Peyton Manning’s Children’s Hospital in Indiana, who provided the operating room and necessary surgical resources at no cost.
As a result, the surgery performed significantly corrected her deformity and saved her life. Salma’s curvature has gone from 180 degrees to 70 degrees, she is able to stand taller (10 inches) and most importantly, her spine is not putting pressure on her lungs.
Surgical product was donated by NuVasive and the surgical time and expertise was donated by Dr. David Schwartz, who went great lengths to involve Payton Manning Children’s Hospital in conjunction with St. Vincent’s Mission Integration, International Charity Care program.
With the support of all parties involved, the NuVasive Spine Foundation, Dr. Schwartz, Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital, St. Vincent’s Mission Integration, along with the many others who donated their time, care and money to the NuVasive Spine Foundation, Salma can soon return to Kenya with a renewed chance at pursuing her hopes and dreams.
When Salma was asked what she would like to be when she grows up, she answered “a surgeon,” so she can help children the way Dr. Schwartz has helped her.
I feel fortunate to have been able to travel to Kenya in 2010 as I began this journey - and to follow her life changing surgery at St. Vincent's in Indianapolis to tell Salma's story and honor her mother's wish.
Here is her story...
Nadia Borowski Scott
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