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‘Folded Boy’ Undergoes Risky Surgeries in Hopes of Standing Straight

A determined student nicknamed the “folded boy” has undergone several risky surgeries in the hope of one day standing up straight. Jiang Yanchen, a 19-year-old from China’s Shandong province, has been battling a severe form of ankylosing spondylitis that has contorted his spine into a Z-shape, leaving his head and backside perilously close together.

Jiang’s Condition

Ankylosing spondylitis is a painful and progressive inflammatory disease affecting the spine. Common symptoms include back pain, stiffness, and swelling. However, Jiang’s condition is extraordinarily severe, with his spine twisted backward at a near-180-degree angle. This extreme curvature has caused him immense pain and severely limited his mobility, making basic activities like walking, eating, and breathing incredibly difficult. His lung capacity was reduced to just 20 percent of that of a healthy adult.

High-Risk Surgeries

To improve Jiang’s quality of life, he underwent two high-risk surgeries in May and August 2023, led by Dr. Wang Yu, the chief physician at Peking University Hospital’s Department of Orthopaedics. The procedures were complex and dangerous, involving the breaking, stretching, and stabilizing of Jiang’s cervical spine with a frame that remained in place throughout the process.

'Folded Boy' Undergoes Risky Surgeries in Hopes of Standing Straight

Dr. Yu explained, “The next stage is to loosen the frame and straighten the spine section by section, locking it in, loosening, locking it in, loosening. We keep repeating these steps.”

Challenges and Recovery

Post-operative recovery was grueling for Jiang. He experienced intense pain and limited movement, leading doctors to fear potential nerve damage. His mother, Yu Meiying, tearfully recounted his struggle, describing how he woke up in agony, barely able to move.

Living with limitations

Despite these challenges, Jiang’s spirit remained unbroken. Even before his surgeries, he continued his academic pursuits, taking final exams while lying on a yoga mat. “If I give up on myself, I’ll be a useless person even after I get cured,” Jiang remarked, showcasing his remarkable resilience.

A Milestone Achievement

The surgeries successfully corrected Jiang’s spine to a 90-degree angle, significantly improving his mobility and reducing his pain. He celebrated his 19th birthday in the hospital before being discharged, marking a significant milestone in his recovery journey.

Jiang’s road to full recovery is ongoing, with further treatments planned to continue straightening his spine. He remains hopeful that one day he will stand upright and live a life free from the constraints of his condition.

Public Reaction and Support

Jiang’s story has inspired many. Comments on a YouTube video documenting his disability reflect admiration and awe at his perseverance. One viewer commented, “The fact that he was determined to go to university despite all his pain and medical difficulties is remarkable!” Another added, “It’s extraordinary how he can maintain a focused mind while experiencing such a level of pain and discomfort.”

Jiang Yanchen’s journey from severe disability to improved mobility through high-risk surgeries is a testament to human resilience and the advances in medical science. As he continues his path towards recovery, his story serves as an inspiration to many, reminding us of the strength and determination that lie within us all.

We wish Jiang all the best with his ongoing treatment and future endeavors!

  • Family, Health

    ‘Folded Boy’ Undergoes Risky Surgeries in Hopes of Standing Straight

    A determined student nicknamed the “folded boy” has undergone several risky surgeries in the hope of one day standing up straight. Jiang Yanchen, a 19-year-old from China’s Shandong province, has been battling a severe form of ankylosing spondylitis that has contorted his spine into a Z-shape, leaving his head and backside perilously close together.

    Jiang’s Condition

    Ankylosing spondylitis is a painful and progressive inflammatory disease affecting the spine. Common symptoms include back pain, stiffness, and swelling. However, Jiang’s condition is extraordinarily severe, with his spine twisted backward at a near-180-degree angle. This extreme curvature has caused him immense pain and severely limited his mobility, making basic activities like walking, eating, and breathing incredibly difficult. His lung capacity was reduced to just 20 percent of that of a healthy adult.

    High-Risk Surgeries

    To improve Jiang’s quality of life, he underwent two high-risk surgeries in May and August 2023, led by Dr. Wang Yu, the chief physician at Peking University Hospital’s Department of Orthopaedics. The procedures were complex and dangerous, involving the breaking, stretching, and stabilizing of Jiang’s cervical spine with a frame that remained in place throughout the process.

    'Folded Boy' Undergoes Risky Surgeries in Hopes of Standing Straight

    Dr. Yu explained, “The next stage is to loosen the frame and straighten the spine section by section, locking it in, loosening, locking it in, loosening. We keep repeating these steps.”

    Challenges and Recovery

    Post-operative recovery was grueling for Jiang. He experienced intense pain and limited movement, leading doctors to fear potential nerve damage. His mother, Yu Meiying, tearfully recounted his struggle, describing how he woke up in agony, barely able to move.

    Living with limitations

    Despite these challenges, Jiang’s spirit remained unbroken. Even before his surgeries, he continued his academic pursuits, taking final exams while lying on a yoga mat. “If I give up on myself, I’ll be a useless person even after I get cured,” Jiang remarked, showcasing his remarkable resilience.

    A Milestone Achievement

    The surgeries successfully corrected Jiang’s spine to a 90-degree angle, significantly improving his mobility and reducing his pain. He celebrated his 19th birthday in the hospital before being discharged, marking a significant milestone in his recovery journey.

    Jiang’s road to full recovery is ongoing, with further treatments planned to continue straightening his spine. He remains hopeful that one day he will stand upright and live a life free from the constraints of his condition.

    Public Reaction and Support

    Jiang’s story has inspired many. Comments on a YouTube video documenting his disability reflect admiration and awe at his perseverance. One viewer commented, “The fact that he was determined to go to university despite all his pain and medical difficulties is remarkable!” Another added, “It’s extraordinary how he can maintain a focused mind while experiencing such a level of pain and discomfort.”

    Jiang Yanchen’s journey from severe disability to improved mobility through high-risk surgeries is a testament to human resilience and the advances in medical science. As he continues his path towards recovery, his story serves as an inspiration to many, reminding us of the strength and determination that lie within us all.

    We wish Jiang all the best with his ongoing treatment and future endeavors!