Afnan Age: 19


I did not travel with the team and remained in the US providing logistical support and posting daily videos of our medical team in action to our new YouTube channel @FAJRScientific. Afnan is a 19-year-old college student who fell from the second story at age 5. This resulted in her left leg being 3.5 centimeters shorter than her right leg. As a child, she was told that she could have a surgery to extend her leg but when she’s grown up. After 14 years of dealing with this injury, Afnan’s looked visibly sad and in pain during the exam. Not only physically, but also – and probably more severely, emotionally. On one hand, there was a young girl who has missed on so many activities with friends and family. On the other hand, it was a young lady at the start of her adult life clearly worried about her future and goals as a lady, a professional, a wife, and a future mother insha-Allah. I vividly recall Dr. Tariq Nayfeh giving Afnan two big decisions to think about; 1) This is not a one-surgery process. If she is to do this surgery now, she should expect to need another 1, 2, maybe 3 surgeries down the road. 2) While he would be able to extend the leg, he doesn’t know by how long. Extending the bone is one thing. He will be limited by how much he can extend the muscles and blood vessels. There is in fact no way to know until the middle of the surgery. “After all this, do you still want to have the surgery?” asked Dr. Nayfeh. With Zero hesitation, Afnan said a resounding Yes! clearly surprising many in the room … but it was her call. Next, there was a video of our media correspondent interviewing Afnan. Afnan looked so sad and down that I decided not to post the video solely out of respect for her. The next video was shortly after the surgery. The PT helping her move around a bit and she was nearly crying and visibly in excruciating pain. It was very difficult to watch, and I also didn’t post it. The next day, something amazing happened! While our therapist was working on her, she let out an amazing smile! She looked like a completely different person! As our PT was administering therapy and exercises, she continued to simile and grin. It was the next and final day when she was clearly laughing, pain is almost gone. She’s moving around with a walker but clearly adjusting to having two legs of the same length without stress on her body and back. Laughing out loud! She was getting discharged! It was only then when I decided to post a “throw back in time” of the original interview. It was so uplifting for me to watch her into a completely different person in a matter of 72 hours. And the best of all news is Dr. Nayfeh’s report after the surgery: 1) AlhamduleAllah he was able to extend her leg almost the entire 3.5 cm. 2) AlhamduleAllah he was also able to perform it in a way where she may not even need any more surgeries in the future! Afnan doesn’t know who I am, but she managed to make me shed tears of both sadness then joy! I continue to wonder how she is doing now weeks after the surgery and make duaa for her.