Save Charlotte's Spine

Most people would know me as the smiling, easy going, 'girl next door' kind of personality.  When i am not planning and experimenting new ways to incorporate peanut butter, i am the 'go to girl' helping others reach their goals, realise their potential, and building confidence amongst clients, friends and strangers. 

Tables have turned slightly, and now  the trainer is in need of your help.  It is not a secret i have had my fair share of health scares since being a teenager, that has sparked my fire too be the best I could and see how far I could challenge myself through the sport of bodybuilding. You could say that this new passion was my saving grace to restore health.
However, in May 2016 i sustained a significant back injury involving L4, L5-S1 lumbar disc during my contest preparation for WRPF Powerlifting Nationals, and had my eyes set on a bodybuilding competition within the year.

The extent of my injury was not known untill MRI scans showed disc protrusions causing nerve root pain, damage, and lose of nerve signals to my right leg.  For those who don't know what a disc protrusion is, it is a large proportion of the disc nucleus having herniated either internally or externally into the spinal canal.
My injuries at this point in time were managable. I remained positive, and continued doing what I could do to still work towards my goals.

Fast forward five months, to April 2017. I received another significant setback. A follow up MRI scan showed the L3 disc was now protruding, and L4 was starting to collapse. I have had to change how I live my daily life as the injured disc is in close proximity to my spinal cord. My injury is now debilitating and exhausting.

Think of the most simplest thing that you subconsciously do on a daily basis? Something that is second nature. Like walking, running to catch something, bending down to pick up something off the floor, getting dressed in the morning, getting in and out of your car, carrying the groceries. You just do it without really thinking right? Try having to think about every move you make everyday before you execute it so you are ready for the pain to consume your lower back, and the debilitating sciatic nerve to grab your legs. At this point coughing, laughing and sneezing are a nightmare.
 This is a typical day for me. Every move I make comes with some sort of pain or discomfort and lack of mobility.

People who know me, know of my passion for training, this has since ceased as the chain reaction of each new disc protrusion moves further through my spine, moving closer to my spinal cord. This has been mentally challenging, tough and frightened to deal with, as being active is a big part of who I am. 

I have only one option to assist in restoring normality again and that is to have major spinal surgery. The surgery best suited for my injury is called Anterior Lumbar Disc Replacement Surgery (ADR). This is a three to four hour surgery where a Neurosurgeon surgically removes the diseased disc then the vertebral body is opened to relieve pressure on any pinched nerve roots and allows for a prosthetic disc to be inserted to replace the diseased disc. The artificial disc helps maintain normal motion of the lumbar spine and therefore limiting stress and damage to adjacent levels of the spine, relieveing nerve pain and ceasing further nerve damage.
I will require 5-7 days stay in a private hospital followed by post-operative physiotherapy for months afterwards. Sounds big hey?

This type of surgery is only available in the private system which myself and my family cannot afford. I am an active member with Bupa, however having to change my level of cover I am on a twelve month waiting list before Bupa will contribute any funds, which is not even a quarter of the actually cost of the operation.
We have since found out my out of pocket expenses for the surgery, and hospital stay are calculated to be any where between $30,000-$50,000.  
This has put a lot of stress and pressure on my family, particulary my mum and my twin sister who are doing their absolute best too keep me comfortable, positive and providing as much support as they can.  
To take some of the pressure and stress away from my family would mean so much, as they have been through so much already as my dads passing is still raw two years on.  
I am a very proud person, so for me to start a campaign such as this is completely out of my comfort zone, but if this means my family can sleep a little easier at night then i will do anything i can to support my family as this affects them too.

My situation is urgent, as my injury is one to deteriorate as disc injuries can have a domino like effect. As time passes more discs will need to be replaced. If the weakness travels any further i face the possibility of my spinal cord being damaged, causing nerve damage, and in the worst case, paralysis.

Any help that can be given to allieviate the financial stress as we go through this process is greatly appreciated and will give us one less thing to worry about. If you would like to help me out in other ways please reach out, any help or fundraising idea would be greatly appreciated.  

Help me get back on track of working towards my goals, as well as help me reach lifes milestones, such as being physically able to carry children to simple activities like walking my beloved dogs.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story. 
Charlotte Jory


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Charlotte Jory 
South Launceston TAS
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