Kyril, a 12-year-old boy from Latvia whose congenital defect made it impossible for him to eat, scratch or do anything else with his right hand, is now able to function normally and return home, thanks to surgeons at Rambam Medical Center in Haifa.

Kyril suffered from brachial plexus palsy, a defect that occurs in one in 3,000 to 5,000 births. But in 90 percent of cases, the disability passes by the age of three months. In the case of the Latvian boy – and about eight Israeli children a year – it never did.

A week ago, the boy arrived in Haifa to undergo a relatively rare and complicated operation by Dr. Mark Edelman, head of the pediatric orthopedics department at Rambam. The surgeon turned the boy’s wrist 65 degrees around and set it in its new location with six screws. His shoulder bone was also moved to the right place.

Edelman said that it was only the second case he had encountered in his career as a surgeon.

“Kyril taught himself to cope with life using only one of his hands. This is a very difficult disability for such a small child,” he said.

After the three-hour operation and one day of hospitalization, he was discharged last week. By using a new type of locking plate in his arm, the need for several days of hospitalization, a plastic cast for weeks and other treatment was eliminated. Kyril feels well, and for the first time in his life, is able to use both hands.

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