Girl's Life Saved by Spinal Surgery

A 12-year-old girl suffering from an extremely severe case of scoliosis received another chance at life after undergoing drastic surgery at a hospital in Indianapolis. Salma Suleman, a resident of Nairobi, Kenya was unable to walk any distances greater than 10 feet due to the extreme curve of her spine.

A foundation in San Diego, CA known as the Nuvasive Spine Foundation was able to bring Suleman to the United States. The Peyton Manning Children's Hospital in St. Vincent even volunteered to perform the extremely risky surgery pro bono.

She was suffering from a curve so severe that if you looked from behind, her hip and shoulder blade were actually touching. This doctors stated that her case of scoliosis was the most severe they had ever seen in all their 17 years working as a spinal surgeons.

"We typically operate on children if their curves are 45 to 50 degrees. If their curves are 25 to 30 degrees we put them in braces. She is only 12 and she was already suffering from a 170 degree curve," said Schwartz.

Schwartz was the surgeon who performed the almost 12-hour surgery. Suleman received 15 different levels of fusion during the surgery.

Just three short weeks after the surgery she is able to stand up straight, raise her arms and even walk without pain. The surgery has completely changed her outlook on life.

"I am happy," said Suleman. "I had lost hope but he brought it back."

Suleman will spend approximately one month undergoing rehab in San Diego and will then head home to Nairobi.