[credit provider=”The Telegraph” url=”http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/9765994/Girl-told-she-would-never-walk-again-takes-first-steps-after-pioneering-operation.html”]
A groundbreaking surgical procedure has helped a teenager walk again after being told she would be confined to a wheelchair for the rest of her life, The Telegraph reports. Charlotte Volante was born with spina bifida, a condition in which the spinal cord does not fully develop. She has been in a wheelchair since age 11.
But in July, doctors at Southampton General Hospital in the U.K. performed a very complex operation that involved lengthening “the tight muscles at the hips, knees and feet,” explains The Telegraph.
After being told she would never walk again, Volante took her first steps less than two weeks before her 18th birthday.
“Walking again after my operation did not feel strange and it didn’t hurt; it just felt completely natural,” Volante told the paper.
Volante is now in an accelerated rehabilitation program, which has helped 14 other patients get back on their feet.