Prepare to be inspired! Three people who have faced incredible health adversities join The Doctors to share their experiences.
Surviving a Taliban Assault
Marzia, also known as Fatima, was only 6 years old when the Taliban attacked her family’s car in Afghanistan, killing her father and brother and leaving her with a disfiguring gunshot wound to the face. The bullet detached Marzia’s right eye and destroyed the internal part of her nasal cavity.
After Marzia was rescued and brought to the United States by the Global Medical Relief Fund, a non-profit organization that aids children who have been injured due to war or natural disaster, reconstructive surgeon Dr. Kaveh Alizadeh worked to remove problematic scar tissue and create a stable airway to restore function and form.
“As human beings, we all want to look and feel good about who we are, especially as a 6-year-old, to develop a sense of yourself and who you are … this little girl lost that,” explains Dr. Alizadeh.
Treating Flat Back Syndrome
After surviving a gruesome car accident, Beverly underwent back surgery to relieve her chronic pain. But instead of easing her discomfort, the pain escalated, and Beverly's back was left in a permanent 45-degree angle position – a condition known as flat back syndrome.
The spine has two curves – the lordosis and kyphosis – which help carry and balance the weight of the torso, arms and neck. Flat back syndrome occurs when the spine loses either or both of these curves, causing sufferers to appear stooped forward and have difficulty standing up straight. They may also experience chronic pain in the back muscles, difficulty with daily activities, a sensation of falling forward and frequent fatigue.
“You have to be an advocate for yourself. When you’re in chronic pain, it’s hard to do that. And you can either let your pain control you, or you can control your pain. When you are taking a lot of drugs, you cannot be in control,” Beverly advises.
ER physician Dr. Travis Stork says the take-away from Beverly’s experience is that it’s not the number of surgeries, but rather ensuring you get the right surgery at the right time.
Four-Legged Cancer Detector
Susan was perplexed when her dog, Bella, began persistently poking at her breast. That is, until her annual mammogram showed that Susan had developed invasive lobular carcinoma, the second most common form of breast cancer.
Cancer causes the body to release certain organic compounds, which can be recognized by dogs. According to veterinarian Dr. Karen “Doc” Halligan, a dog’s sense of smell is about 100,000 times stronger than a human’s.
Dr. Travis advises, “If your dog is doing something it normally doesn’t do, pay attention to it.”
The Dangers of Chili Powder
The Doctors discuss a shocking story about a woman who allegedly punished her boyfriend’s 2-year-old daughter by force-feeding her chili powder, leading to the child's death. Pediatrician Dr. Jim Sears explains the dangers of chili powder consumption.
“It would take about 3 pounds to kill a grown man, but it only takes about 2 teaspoons to be toxic or fatal to a young child,” Dr. Sears says.