Publisher: Rhythm House Publishing Sdn Bhd
Weight: 420 g
Despite being only 16, she's well-qualified to write about the matter having been in a wheelchair from birth. Aveena was born with a condition called spina bifida. Which means, very simply, that the backbone and spinal canal don't close before birth, leaving a soft spot from which membraneous tissue and part of the spine can jut out. The condition occurs when the mother does not get enough folic acid during the pregnancy. Aveena's birth was a story of drama and trauma. Her father had left for work abroad when her mother went into labour. And when Aveena was delivered, the doctors realised she had spina bifida and would need immediate surgery to save her life – but they couldn't operate because Aveena's mother was still unconscious and couldn't give consent. So for 24 hours, staff hovered over the distressed infant, hoping hard while awaiting her father's rushed return to give official consent. The “shunt” operation that was finally performed “might” prolong little Aveena's life for about a year, said the medical team; and while it closed the opening in the backbone, it did not restore normal function to that part of the spine.
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