At 18, social media sensation Big Nik Keswani — who has a rare form of dwarfism that has left him partially blind and deaf — has endured more surgeries than he can remember.
“I stopped counting after 25,” Keswani tells PEOPLE.
This Monday, the teenage social media sensation — one of the stars of PEOPLE’s 2015 web series The Keswanis: A Most Modern Family, which featured doctor dad Anil, pageant rookie Sarina as well as momager Vaishali, and transgender princess Devina — will undergo an eight-hour brain surgery at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
“It’s scary and I’m really afraid – I’m not going to lie,” says Keswani, whose offbeat Vine videos earned him over 3 million followers before he jumped ship to YouTube several months ago.
“But I’m getting some great material out of this for my comedy vlog. Most people would be dreading surgery, but I look forward to it because it gives me new content that I can create for my fans.”
Keswani started channeling the “intense” physical pain that he endures on a daily basis into humorous videos three years ago. His creations, shot on his iPhone, not only quickly went viral – but also helped ease his discomfort.
“Making videos helps me forget about my challenges and struggles,” the wise-cracking teenager told PEOPLE last year. “I really just try and concentrate on the happiness of myself and others and that helps numb the pain. It’s definitely like a pain reliever.”
His latest surgery, which will involve fusing his first two vertebrae together in an effort to stabilize his spine, will require him to spend almost four months in recovery. “This is going to be a big one,” he says. “But I’m used to the curve balls life sometimes tosses at me. It’s going to be a long fight, but I’m going to get through this.”
And when he’s finally able to remove the cervical collar that he’ll be forced to wear for the next few months, Keswani is already contemplating the points his latest medical odyssey will score with the ladies.
“I’ll definitely get a scar from this,” he laughs. “So it’s just one more thing I can add to my dating profile.”
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