Milton Keynes bride-to-be launches £40,000 fundraiser so she can walk down the aisle pain free

Amy suffers from a one in a million condition that affects her bones

By Sally Murrer
Thursday, 9th December 2021, 2:26 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th December 2021, 2:29 pm

An MK bride-to-be who works for emergency services is striving to raise £40,000 so she can enjoy a pain-free future with her fiancé and carry his child.

Amy Stewart, 27, has Cleidocranial dysostosis (CCD), a condition that affects one in a million people.

It means she was born with fragile bones, an open skull at the top, a wide forehead, no collarbone and three different rows of teeth.

Amy Stewart

The condition also seriously affects her spine, which is now twisted into a C shape and causes her constant pain. This means pregnancy would be difficult, if not impossible.

After countless consultations and surgeries through the NHS, Amy had resigned herself to a life to pain, where her movement is limited and and even sitting down can cause her knee to dislocate.

"I am now on a lot of medication just to get me through each day, and medication to help me sleep through the pain at night. I have tried physiotherapy, chiropractor, tens machines etc, but nothing is working," she said.

But last month Amy saw a private doctor who, for the first time, has given her hope of a normal future - and even becoming a mum.

Amy Stewart with her fiancé Matthew Woollard

"I was given hope that I have been searching for for years. A future that I was beginning to think wasn’t possible. A chance to get my life back. Not only to be pain free, but to be free to live my life again."

Despite Amy's situation being very complex, the private doctor told her he's confident he can perform spinal fusion surgery to insert two metal rods either side of her spine and screw them through each vertebra to hold them in place.

"Hearing these words was genuinely like someone pulling me out of the water, and offering me the help I need," she said.

"The surgeon has said that he can get me in for surgery as soon as January 2022. However the estimated cost for this surgery is between £40000 and £50000. This cost not only covers the surgery, but all of the aftercare, a bed in the high dependency unit, and initial rehab that I will need within a hospital setting."

Amy and Matthew

Amy is due to marry fiancé Matthew Woollard, who also works in emergency services, in June 2023. Recuperation from the surgery will take up to 12 months, so her dream is to be able to walk down the aisle without any pain.

"I have dreamt of my wedding day since I was a little girl, and to now know I still have hope of walking down the aisle pain free, feels like a dream come true," she said.

Amy is now in a race against time to raise the money to have the operation as soon as possible, to allow her to recover in time for her wedding.

She has launched a fundraising page here.

"I have worked hard since the age of 17, and have never asked anyone for help like this. But I am left in a situation where I am desperate for the help and support of those around me. If there is anything any of you can do to help me reach my goal, it would mean the absolute world to me and my family," she said.