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Solomiya D | Scoliosis Patient

Standing Tall: One Teen’s Transformative Spine Surgery


NEW YORK — Seattle native Solomiya D. suffered spinal cord infections as a baby, which caused her to develop severe scoliosis. As she got older, the scoliosis worsened, creating a large protruding bump on her upper back and compressing her heart and lungs, which were confined to a mere 3- to 4-inch space. After two unsuccessful surgeries, her previous doctor referred her to Lawrence Lenke, M.D., Surgeon-in-Chief at the NewYork-Presbyterian Och Spine Hospital.

Dr. Lenke conducted a rarely performed series of surgeries called “vertebral column resection.” This surgery involved breaking the spine, separating it into two pieces, and then moving the pieces into their correct positions and permanently fixing the spine. After two 10-hour surgeries, she now has a much straighter spine and the improved ability to breathe at ease. Dr. Lenke believes she has a great future ahead of her and can lead a normal life.

“There’s always a way to just keep fighting. That’s one thing Dr. Lenke encouraged me to do. He said, ‘I’m fighting for you, so don’t give up.’ We haven’t given up on you. There’s always hope. There’s a purpose for you.” —Solomiya



View the interview by clicking this video.


Solomiya shares her incredible story


“After my surgeries, I grew a few inches. I’ve never wanted to not be able to do something, and I feel like I’m already living the dream that I’ve had in my heart. I got my driver’s license about a year after my surgery, and I’ve been driving and I’ve been able to move across the country. It’s a miracle.” —Solomiya

“Solomiya has a great future ahead of her. I see no reason why she can’t lead a very normal life. It makes me feel honored to take care of people like this. She’s really a very unique individual—she’s the hero here, honestly!” —Dr. Lenke





See this full story and video at: WABC-TV

WABC-TV is proud to have taken you inside the NewYork-Presbyterian Och Spine Hospital for a look at some extraordinary stories that we call Medical Marvels. It’s WABC’s Emmy-nominated digital series exclusive to abc7NY.com


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