In December 2022, 69-year-old maxillofacial and oral surgeon Dr Deepak Kulkarni registered himself for a seniors’ cycling trip through Northeast India.

During this stint, he met Muskan, a 10-year-old girl studying at the Swami Vivekananda Kendra Vidyalaya at Sunpura on the Assam–Arunachal Pradesh border.

Born with a neck deformity called torticollis, the girl had accepted her fate, until Dr Deepak stepped in, giving her a new lease on life.

“A true work of destiny,” is how the doctor describes the events that unfolded in the coming months.

It all started during the morning assembly at the school where the senior citizens were invited to talk about their expedition.

Whilst at it, Dr Deepak noticed that while most kids in the assembly would frequently change their posture, turn their heads, etc, one girl in the ninth row sat still.

“I called her to the front after the talks were over to get a closer look at her neck, which hadn’t moved in the last hour,” he says.

Aware that this was a case of torticollis, a deformity that affects the muscles in the neck, Dr Deepak asked the headmistress to get him in touch with the girl’s family so he could help.

He knew his friend and colleague Dr Parag Sahasrabudhe — plastic surgeon and head of the department of plastic surgery at the acclaimed Sassoon General Hospital, Pune — would be able to correct this deformity.

After speaking with the parents, Dr Deepak finally received a call from the child’s uncle who was keen on her having the surgery.

Not only did Dr Deepak see that all arrangements were made for the family to meet Dr Parag but even sponsored their entire travel expenses.

Muskan was operated on 8 April and Dr Deepak continued to visit her all the days that she remained in the hospital for recovery.

As her dad recounts, it felt almost like a dream come true. “For us, it is almost like Dr Deepak was god sent,” he says.

But Dr Deepak and Dr Parag say the credit does not go to them, but rather to how things played out.

Want to help someone? Contact Dr Deepak here:  9822023989