Urgent Spinal Surgery For Millie

This is my daughter Millie who is 14 years of age. She has been diagnosed with Scoliosis - a debilitating condition causing curvature of the spine. Usually this is corrected through the wearing of a brace for 20hrs a day but Millies condition has developed beyond this stage and urgent spinal surgery is necessary. An x-ray revealed a severe curve of 44 degrees. Bracing is ineffective past 40 degrees.

We couldnt believe what we were seeing on the X-ray because on the outside she looks normal but inside her body is twisting. What affects Millie more is that her whole life has been dedicated to dance and her future aspirations have always been in the dance and theatre world. She is the West Yorkshire 2016 Ballet champion and is the East Midlands Junior Modern Champion 2017. She is hoping to compete in the Champions of Champions in 2018 at Blackpool and has just nominated for a scholarship at the International Theatre Awards in February 2019. Millie has previously appeared in West End performances, Local festive Pantomime productions and numerous shows. You could say she’s good at what she’s passionate about!

As with many cases of Scoliosis in teenagers, the 'watch and wait' was not not an option for Millie. She needs surgery as soon as possible before her curve progresses further.

I spent weeks researching and talking to other affected parents in the UK who have flown to America for a life changing operation not yet available in the UK. This is called Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) and is a revolutionary new procedure which minimises the risks and maximises her flexibility post operation which would support her in her life long goals.

The procedure offered by our local NHS children’s hospital involves spinal fusion and the insertion of metal rods and pins onto her spine ultimately limiting her movement and creating life long chronic back pain.

This is more on the condition : http://www.nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk/Services/A-Z/ScottishNationalSpineDeformityService/Spine%20Conditions%20and%20Operations/Pages/Anterior-Vertebral-Body-Tethering-(AVBT).aspx

In order to provide Millie with the best opportunity for the VBT procedure it will be necessary secure her treatment at The Shriners hospital for Children in Philadelphia who are pioneers of this type of surgery which has been practiced for over 10 years. (https://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/philadelphia/scoliosis-and-spine-care1)

This hospital is a charity organisation funded by donations from the public. We would love to raise as much money as possible to donate to this fantastic hospital who will hopefully be providing Millie with this life changing spinal surgery together with supporting Millies care pre surgery in travel and accommodation costs, medication costs and post operative care both in the US and back in the UK for the following years of her growth, probably until she reaches the age of 19.

This would be the best option for Millie however as the eligibility criteria and with a collapsing time frame, we may not get to the US and have to chose another spinal clinic in Europe who offer the same procedure at a cost of 40000 euros.

All we ask that anyone who has the ability to give and make a difference will not only be supporting Millie and her family - but this amazing hospital who’s aim is to help children across the world with debilitating conditions such as Scoliosis. As the NHS offer no funding for this treatment is it necessary to fund raise to guarantee our little ballerina has a chance to fulfil her lifelong aspirations.

Any support, however small, you could give would be greatly appreciated and would help this wonderful hospital to continue to do the incredible work they do but more importantly - do what they can for our daughter.

Please support us. Thank you so much from Millies Family


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Mathew Birch 
Notton, ENG
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