Once Twisted by Scoliosis, Ethiopian Twins Returning Home With Lives, Bodies Straight

PLANO -- Tamirat Bogale's spine was so curved that the teenager would often lose his breath while performing daily tasks, including carrying his backpack during his 45-minute trek to school. Tamirat, 16, said walking with his spine's 125-degree curvature became so difficult for him to manage three years ago, that he had to stay home and start seventh grade a year late."It was also hard to balance," he said. "Now it's good." Tamirat and his twin brother, Marcos, whose spine was also curved, traveled alone from their home in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia to Plano in December to undergo several surgeries to treat their severe scoliosis. The disease forces the spine to curve or twist, usually in the shape of an "S" or a "C." Depending on the severity, the condition can be treated with either a brace or surgery. A severe case of scoliosis can interfere with breathing if left untreated.After a couple of parting celebrations, the teens will return to Ethiopia Wednesday morning to reunite with their father, four months after their first surgery. They'll take with them straighter spines and several breathtaking stories from their first trip away from home. "Everything is so nice," Tamirat said in broken English tinged with an African accent. "There is no more pain." Gaining confidenceThe teens said one of the highlights from their trip to Texas was meeting FC Dallas soccer player Atiba Harris in December while they recovered at Plano Medical Center. Harris gifted each brother an FC Dallas jersey and a pair of flip flops, which the brothers said they wear as often as they can.   Continue reading...

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