Kerri needs your help to battle scoliosis

Kerri McCunnie.
Kerri McCunnie.

A fundraising campaign has been launched to help a Newtownstewart teenager access critical physiotherapy for “devastating” scoliosis.

Kerri McCunnie, (13), lives with idiopathic scoliosis, an ‘S’ shape curve in her spine which has already progressed to 40 degrees.

Doctors recently told her the scoliosis will progress to an extent where she will need to use a wheelchair and the curvature in her spine will also restrict her lungs and heart.

While wearing a brace can be a method of treatment for idiopathic scoliosis, it is too late for Kerri to avail of it.

Her mother, Janet, told how her daughter’s only option is spinal fusion surgery, but there is a long waiting list for the treatment on the NHS.

Kerri receives physiotherapy in Enniskillen once a week, but has identified a clinic in London, called the SOS scoliosis clinic, which undertakes intensive physiotherapy for six hours a day, five days a week for four weeks.

It is hoped this would reduce the curvature in her spine and lessen the need for surgery.

Janet said the exercises would be tailored to Kerri’s curve and many people who have completed it have seen a big improvement.

Kerri is booked to attend the clinic in November, but the treatment will cost in the region of £6,000. One thousand pounds has already been fundraised, but the clock is now ticking to raise the remaining money.

Janet explained how, as Kerri gets older and grows, the scoliosis will get worse, over a faster time period. She told how Kerri’s breathing is beginning to be more affected and her pain is increasing. Janet described Kerri’s prognosis as “devastating” and is hoping her daughter can access the treatment while it can still be beneficial.

A Just Giving page has been set up online, where people can donate to help fund Kerri’s physiotherapy. You can donate by logging on to: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/janet-mccunnie