Mary Ann Rivers has struggled for years to sit up straight. After being diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015 and going through chemo and radiation, the bones and muscles in her back became too weak to hold up her neck straight.
Dr. Patil stepped in to help. After examining and meeting with her, he learned that she was experiencing dangerous effects from the weakened bone and muscles in her back. She was struggling to swallow and breathe. Dr. Patil knew that something had to be done or she might lose her life.
The surgery took about nine hours. Dr. Patil was able to release the muscles pulling Rivers’ head downward. He was also able to remove calcifications and straighten her spine, fusing 11 vertebrae. On top of the complicated surgery, Rivers also has Parkinson’s disease which makes it harder for the spine to heal correctly.
Rivers said when she found out that Dr. Patil was going to be able to operate on her, she got emotional. She was excited that the misery could potentially be over.
After a few months of recovery, Rivers is sitting up straight and is wearing a brace. Dr. Patil is very proud of her progress and is happy that he could help save her life.