The family of a 12-year-old girl whose spine is twisted into an S shape has launched a crowdfunding bid to help her stand tall and pain free.
Ella Taylor has such severe scoliosis that her spine is threatening to squash her heart and lungs and make it difficult for her to breathe.
NHS surgeons in this country can only offer one solution – a lengthy operation to fuse the spine with metal implants that make it a solid structure.
This would not only have a severe impact on Ella’s flexibility, but would also mean she would never grow more than her current height, said her mum Sarah.
“As parents we refuse to accept telling our 12-year-old daughter this is the best option for her. Ella has so many plans for her life and we feel it is our duty to make her dreams come true,” she said.
Sarah and her husband Ian researched spinal surgery available worldwide. They discovered VBT, Verterbral Body Tethering, was available in America or Germany.
VBT recently hit the headlines when Simon Cowell paid £80,000 for Britain’s Got Talent contestant Julia Carlile, 15, to have the surgery in the US.
Sarah has launched an appeal on www.gofundme.com/save-ellas-spine-vbt-surgery. The surgery, travel and associated costs will total £55,000. The family has also launched a Facebook page called Save Ella’s spine, on which Ella has her own blog.
The Shenley Brook End schoolgirl writes: ‘I’m very grateful to have the opportunity for surgery but I can’t help wishing that my life was different. Sometimes I wonder what it would be like to not have these conditions but I won’t let them take over.’
She was diagnosed with Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at the age of nine. The scoliosis is unrelated and started a year later, said Sarah.
She said: “We want to give Ella the chance to grow into the beautiful, successful young lady we know she has the talent and potential to become.”