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Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cancer patient battles through 30 surgeries in 3 years, clears MCom

    Battling bone cancer for the last 13 years, brave Ankit Brahmbhatt, 25, went against his doctor's advice to sit for his MCom Part II exams in May – a week after a bone cancer surgery, fighting acute pain and with a doctor in tow to the exam centre. Last week, the Mithibai college student scored 77 per cent, much to the surprise of his doctors, and more so, himself. 
    And the courage shown by this Vile Parle resident is nothing but a small footnote in his overall struggle against bone cancer, which has plagued him since he was a 12-year-old. He spent six years after being first diagnosed of cancer in his left leg in 1999 taking chemotherapy, undergoing implants, about 40 surgeries, and facing multiple complications that meant that he was operated upon 30 times only in the last three years. 
    In 2000, Brahmbhatt's first year as a teenager, the cancer was surgically removed from his left leg, and the three bones from knee to ankle – patella, tibia and fibula – were replaced with titanium rods. The rest of 
his teens were spent under the influence of heavy and exhausting dose of chemotherapy drugs. 
    The complications, however, started spiralling out of control three years ago. The areas around the titanium implant grew septic, and, he says, there was a period when he was more times on an operation table in a month than in his classroom. 
    On May 11, the doctors operated him again to fix a new implant, and suggested a month of strict bed rest. 
    "Just 10 days before my exams, my doctors told me that they will have to undergo a surgery to save my limb," Brahmbhatt told Mirror. 
    "After the surgery, the doctors told me 
that it will take another month to heal the wound, and had asked me to not get out of bed. They were not in favour of my exerting myself by travelling to the exam centre, but I didn't want to waste my year so I went against their advice," he said. 
    "Every day I used to travel to my centre through cab, accompanied by a doctor and my mother. After finishing my exams, I had to visit my oncologist at Hinduja for check up," said Ankit, whose father passed away when he was two years old. 
    "I was in a severe pain and couldn't even move my leg, but I was happy that I could give my four papers. I never thought I will score so much. I hardly got time to study due to my continuous surgeries and hospital visits," he added. 
    "I used to study while sitting on the hospital bed," he said. 
    His doctor for 10 years, Dr Manish Agrawal, Orthopaedic Oncologist of Hinduja Hospital, said, "He has an very strong will power and it is commendable how he continued to pursue his education despite his condition and surgeries. I have lost count how many times I have operated on him. I am very happy for his achievement."


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