The “Folding Man” is now standing up straight thanks to doctors at Shenzhen University General Hospital who broke and rebuilt Li Hua’s entire spine over the course of four operations this past year.
Lia’s condition, ankylosing spondylitisan, is considered an aggressive form of arthritis — which left his face pressed against his thighs for over two decades, causing him to be hunchback.
The teach hospital medics’ described the severe spinal deformity as “three-on,” which is chin on chest, sternum on pubic, and face on femur.
Images post-operative show Li’s whole body having been opened up which allowed him to lie flat, sit up and stand straight for the first time in just 28 years.
Now, he is able to move around thanks to the help of a walker but Professor Tao states he will regain normal movement with just two to three months of physical therapy.
The medic said:
“Of course he won’t be able to do anything too extreme like boxing or playing tennis, but all regular bodily movements will not be a problem.”
While Li shared:
“There would’ve been no cure for me without Doctor Tao. He’s my saviour, and my gratitude to him is second only to my mother.”
When describing Li’s case, the hospital compared it to the surgical equivalent of Mount Everest as it was the first time in history such severe spinal deformities have been corrected in China.