Here in the UK the only option currently available is fusion surgery which involves inserting spinal rods down the length of her spine. While this is a very successful surgery and the surgeons are highly skilled it is not without risks and for Iona being only 12 it would have life long implications and would affect her ability to continue with her love of dancing at competitive level.
In Europe and the USA there are alternative surgeries available and we are so grateful to have found a world leading surgeon in Istanbul who has agreed to perform a much less invasive surgery on Iona (vbt - which is done via keyhole surgery and does not involve fusing her spine, has a quicker recovery time and will leave her spine flexible) therfore enabling her to resume her dancing and acrobatics which she loves so much.
However the cost of this surgery is not covered by the NHS (although they have recently agreed vbt should be trialled in the UK this will be too late for Iona).
Time is of the essence for Iona and she needs this surgery asap. We will therfore be travelling to Istanbul in the next few weeks for Iona to the the surgery with Dr Alanay.
However we need to raise £40,000 (this is just the cost of the procedure and does not cover any travel, accommodation or insurance costs. We will need to travel to Istanbul at least 6 more times for check ups with Dr Alanay after surgery). We are doing all we can to fund this ourselves and are hoping we can take out a second mortgage on our house but even with this we need all the help we can get.
We know it is a lot to ask and there are so many deserving causes but every penny we raise will help Iona to have the best quality of life possible.
Iona has faced this challenge with courage, strength and humour. She will face more challenges as she set out on her road to surgery and recovery but hopefully by Christmas 2018 she will have a clean bill of health, be back at school and finally able to resume her dancing competitions and you will have helped to make that happen
Thank you for reading
Iona's very grateful parents
Ian and Yvonne x
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