Mum's plea over daughter's scoliosis surgery

A Carrickfergus mum has made a plea for help as the coronavirus pandemic places her daughter's vital surgery on hold.

By Helena McManus
Monday, 27th July 2020, 5:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 28th July 2020, 11:28 am
Emily with mum Brenda.
Emily with mum Brenda.

Emily Scott, 12, was diagnosed with Idiopathic Scoliosis in March this year, just before lockdown restrictions began.

Scoliosis causes a sideways curve of the spine, with idiopathic meaning 'no known cause'.

According to the NHS, the condition most often starts in children aged 10-15, and can sometimes be treated with a back brace.

Scoliosis is a sideways curvature of the spine.

Occasionally, however, spinal fusion surgery is required.

Emily's mum Brenda said: "On March 11 the family took her privately to a consultant at the Ulster Independent Clinic; X-rays confirmed a 40 degree curvature.

The schoolgirl was due to be assessed further at Musgrave Hospital in June. "Then Covid hit, all services suspended and scoliosis services ceased."

The delays have caused mounting concern for the family of the Larne Grammar pupil, who before the pandemic hit was a keen member of the Bentra School of Irish Dance.

A second private appointment in June confirmed that her condition had worsened from a 40 to 50 degree curvature of the spine. "Worryingly she has trunk rotation and obviously is in a lot of pain," Brenda added.

"Emily has been placed on the list for surgery but no one can say when services will resume."

Alarmingly, the rate of progression means the condition will soon impact on the 12-year-old's heart and lungs.

Her family are hoping to raise the £45,000 required for Emily to undergo treatment abroad.

"Time is not on Emily's side," her mum added.

"Most services are now all back up and running though scoliosis clinics have still not resumed. Why? Our children have been left on the shelf with no means of help. This is not only affecting them physically but also affecting their mental health and well-being."

Facebook page Emily's Scoliosis Journey and a GoFundMe page have been set up to raise the funds for private surgery.

"We are aware that people and businesses are in the middle of unprecedented times, but if you could help us financially or by donating something towards a raffle or auction which we will be holding, we would be extremely grateful," said Brenda.

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