This is the story of our beautiful Kimberly, who was diagnosed with scoliosis at age 12. It all happened during our holiday, when we noticed the asymmetry between Kimberly’s shoulders and hips. Once we arrived in the UK, we immediately went to see the GP, who confirmed our suspicions.
Our GP referred us to Great Ormond Street Hospital to be seen by a spine specialist. We were informed that Kimberly had a double curve on her spine- a thoracic and a lumbar curve with a Cobb angle of 46 degrees. Scoliosis is a condition that causes abnormal curvature of the spine, usually in a ‘C’ or ‘S’ shape. It is a condition that will get progressively worse, and if left untreated it can put pressure on the internal organs such as the heart and the lungs. We were heartbroken and we had to act fast as she was in the age when scoliosis progresses quite rapidly. We started to look all the treatments to halt the progressive worsening, and we came across Scoliosis SOS, it's a private clinic in the heart of a London.
Kimberly did undergo intensive exercise-based therapy for 7 hours per day at Scoliosis SOS. Although this did help to improve Kimberly’s posture and muscle imbalance in her back, it did not fix her spine and the results were only temporary.
After our follow up consultation at Great Ormond’s Hospital, we were deeply saddened to find out Kimberly’s curve has gotten worse and will continue to progress further if she does not undergo surgery. However, the spinal fusion surgery offered by the NHS is a highly invasive surgery ‘where the spine is straightened using metal rods, screws, hooks or wires, along with bits of bone taken from elsewhere in your body, often the hip.(NHS)’ This surgery has major complications such as extensive blood loss, high risk of infection, very limited flexibility and sometimes the screws can become loose, which would require further surgery to correct them. The thought of Kimberly having to live a life of limited mobility and constant pain was utterly traumatising and upsetting for our entire family. Kimberly is my world and if I could sacrifice my life for her to live a normal, happy, healthy life I would. ￼ We want to do all we can for Kimberly so that she can lead as normal life as possible and not be held back by the final bond of fusion surgery.
Fortunately, Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT)is an alternative treatment option, it's less invasive and has had overwhelming positive results!! The best part is it not only reduces the curvature but it also allows for full flexibility!! Within 3 months she can fully return to gymnastics, cheer, sports, dance, you name it!! We are very hopeful for this surgery and we know it’s her best option!! It is the future of scoliosis treatment according to researchers.
Since this is minimally invasive, it has fewer risks of infection and quicker recovery time. Most importantly, Kimberly is only 12 years old which means she is still growing every day. VBT will allow her to grow without restrictions and reach her full height, unlike spinal fusion which will fuse the spine preventing any further growth and lead to chronic lifelong pain. However, Kimberly needs to have this surgery urgently while her spine is still maturing and is relatively flexible, with such a limited time window we need to act fast. Unfortunately, this surgery is not offered by the NHS, meaning we would have to travel abroad to Germany,USA orTurkey to have it done. However, the cost of surgery is £45,000 Over the last 10 month, we have spent thousands of pounds on her spinal care and now we need your help! Since we recently discovered VBT and are racing the clock with her growth, we have had little time to save.
And our family is doing our very best to raise as much of this as possible, and we will do whatever it takes for Kimberly to have this surgery.
However, this cannot be achieved without your support. Hope that all of you will support us in ways that you possibly can. Our Kimberly is a loving, compassionate and a talented girl who loves to write, dance and sing. It would be extremely heart-breaking for our little girl to not be able to live her life to its full potential.
The thought of our Kimberly being able to live without pain, enjoy her hobbies and playing with her cat Mish gives us strength and hope. Friends and family have urged me to create this page so that they can help Kimberly anyway they can from donating to fundraising events.
No child deserves to live distressing reality and we pray for your kindness and generosity. We hope you are able to empathise and any contributions will be much appreciated.
Kimberly and Family