Remembering Dr. Min Mehta, MD, FRCS
Her global work as a pioneer in championing straight spines helped save the lives of countless babies with Progressive Infantile Scoliosis
For thousands of families across the world and for ACCO, 2005 was one of those remarkable times when we experienced a significant sea change in the treatment of very young children with a diagnosis of life threatening Progressive Infantile Scoliosis.
In 2001 we became acquainted with Heather Hyatt, mother of a beautiful four year old named Olivia, who initially reached out to us to help her find a preschool program for her precious child diagnosed with severe Progressive Infantile Scoliosis. At the time, Olivia had already undergone halo procedures. However, Heather never accepted that a single intensive, invasive and premature procedure of spinal fusion surgery was the only way to treat Olivia’s condition. With courage and determination, Heather began an international search for a cure, and through her perseverance, her journey lead her to the extraordinary and brilliant Dr. Min Mehta, a Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon from London. We were unbelievably fortunate to have Olivia join our program and Heather has taught us that nothing is stronger than a parents love for their child. Unfortunately, Olivia was too old to benefit from Dr. Mehta’s technique, but she has taught us all a lesson in what true strength looks like. As many of you know, we lost Olivia in February of 2016, however, she will always be remembered in our hearts as the inspiration for the Infantile Scoliosis Outreach Program (ISOP). Olivia and her story will not be forgotten.
When Heather met Dr. Mehta, who suffered from juvenile scoliosis, she was pioneering a noninvasive procedure to cure vulnerable babies with Progressive Infantile Scoliosis. Over the last 12 years, this initiative, spearheaded by Heather, became an established program of ACCO, which has developed into a global effort, spreading knowledge, defining better options for families and organizing free, hands-on training for hundreds of doctors and others on Mehta’s Growth Guidance Casting, resulting in thousands of babies being cured gradually without dangerous surgery.
Dr. Min Mehta left us in August 2017 and while there is no way to adequately express the heartfelt gratitude we feel, we understand how incredibly fortunate we were to have known her and what an honor it has been to work with her. Dr. Mehta once said that, from the age of six, she had always wanted to be a doctor, and she faced enormous challenges, including a negative and dismissive perception of women in the medical field. However, this gentle, non-invasive technique would not have been possible without her significant life’s work, and we know her enormous impact will continue to spread around the world. Heather, as well as many others that knew her, have heard so many life changing and grateful stories from parents and the medical community about the unbelievable impact that Dr. Mehta has had. She is considered the global authority on the only life threatening condition in the world of pediatric orthopedics.
For her compassion and dedication to making the world a better place and for her legacy, which she has left for everyone that has been touched by Progressive Infantile Scoliosis, Dr. Mehta will be forever missed but will never be forgotten, nor will the lifesaving work that ISOP will continue to spread until no more children suffer like Olivia and many others with this devastating, painful and life shortening condition.