Gabby, 16, was diagnosed with double scoliosis – an abnormal curvature of both the top and bottom sections of the spine – six years ago. Hoping to avoid surgery, Gabby tried several alternative treatments, including physical therapy, chiropractic therapy and acupuncture. Unfortunately, despite these efforts, her condition severely worsened to nearly 80 percent curvature both on the top and bottom of her spine.
“If gone unchecked, this condition could collapse the space around Gabby’s heart and lungs,” her father, Tony, says.
While Gabby and her parents were considering whether surgery might be the next step, Gabby’s grandmother, Omi, chimed in with a possible solution she saw on an episode of The Doctors. During the episode, a young man named Kyle, who was around Gabby’s age and also had been suffering from severe scoliosis, revealed the astonishing results of a corrective surgery he underwent with orthopedic surgeon Dr. Hooman Melamed.
“I got on the phone immediately and said, ‘Tony, you’ve got to check this out. There’s a doctor that can take care of Gabby,’” Omi recalls.
The family reached out to Dr. Melamed for a consultation and decided to proceed with his recommended surgery. The complex procedure took more than nine hours and involved breaking the spine, installing several screws into the bones and manually straightening each curvature. Dr. Melamed then fused the spine using rods to anchor it and provide support.
Gabby joins her parents and Dr. Melamed on The Doctors’ stage to reveal her post-surgery results:
“You’ve helped me live, and I owe my life to you,” Gabby tearfully tells Dr. Melamed.
The Doctors have a surprise in store and invite Kyle, the former guest who inspired Gabby’s family to seek treatment from Dr. Melamed, to join them onstage. Kyle explains that he and Gabby have been in touch, and he provided support and guidance to her through her surgical journey. However, this is the first time the two have met in person.
“It’s surreal knowing that just by me sharing experience with Dr. Melamed and all the great things he has done, and how it really changed my life, that the rippling effect of that would reach out to somebody like Gabby and her wonderful family … knowing that that changed somebody else’s life as well, it made the entire journey really worth it,” Kyle says.