A YOUNG dancer hopes to raise enough funds so she can fly to the US for life-changing spinal surgery.
Brittney Morris (14), of High Wycombe, has been diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis and doctors have recommended spinal fusion surgery as the only option to straighten her back, but it will mean she will never dance again.
Mum Michelle said her daughter lived for dancing.
“She has danced since she was two years old and made it her life ever since,” she said.
“Unfortunately three years ago Brittney was diagnosed with scoliosis.
“Her first treatment was a horrible fibreglass back brace, which was not only painful but it left her with bruises and sores from wearing it for up to 22 hours a day.
“She has gone from being a normal, happy, healthy child to a sad teenager in constant pain with her spine bending and curving causing her back to look bent.
“It’s heartbreaking mum watching her suffering in pain and crying daily.”
Mrs Morris said the only treatment in Australia for suffered was spinal fusion.
“Due to the nature and position of her curves, she would need to have a metal titanium rod and screws in her back from around her neck to the bottom of her spine,” she said.
“This is a highly invasive surgery and the recovery is long and gruelling.”
“This surgery would make it hard to do what she does on a daily basis, let alone dance.”
But Mrs Morris said in the US there was the option to have vertical body tethering (VBT) surgery.
“This surgery, though quite new, is groundbreaking and enables children who have scoliosis to continue their normal daily life after around six weeks of recovery all the while maintaining spinal flexibility,” she said.
“They are able to return to sport, dancing or whatever activities they undertake before their surgery.
“I want her to lead a normal life but because this surgery isn’t offered in Australia her only option is the spinal fusion surgery in Australia if we can’t raise the money to go overseas.”
Mrs Morris said time was running out to seek treatment for Brittney.
“With rapid growth her curve has increased from 33 degrees to 64 in just five months,” she said.
“I’ve sent three doctors in the US Brittney’s X-rays and they have said she meets their criteria for VBT.
“The problem is we are overseas patients and the cost for the surgery, hospital, and the anaesthesiologist is very costly and could be up to $300,000. I have launched a gofundme page and all money raised would mean the world to my daughter and our family.”
To donate, go to www.gofundme.com/3uf228w.