Milton Keynes nurse in constant pain is forced to raise £25,000 for private surgery to help her walk again
The spinal surgery is no longer available on the NHS because it's too expensive
A Milton Keynes nurse who suffered a severe back injury while at work is being forced to raise £25,000 for private surgery to enable her to walk again.
Katie Isle, 33, is in constant pain with two prolapsed discs in her spine and a disc tear. She can walk short distances around her home with crutches but has to use a mobility scooter when outside.
The injury happened last summer while she was at her job as a paediatric nurse at Milton Keynes hospital, where she has worked for the past 10 years.
"I'd worked all through the first lockdown and it was just after it ended. I was helping a child during a procedure and my back just went," she said.
Katie said there may well have been existing damage to her back that caused the discs to collapse as they did. But years of heavy lifting at work did not help.
"The condition will only get worse. The only hope is surgery to replace the two damaged discs. With that, I should be up and about again within three months, and even able to return to the job I love," she said.
"The problem is that the surgery is not available on the NHS It used to be, but they had to stop it because it is too expensive."
Private surgeons still carry out the operation, but it costs £25,000, said Katie.
"I found one NHS surgeon who still does it but the waiting list is extremely long - and that's if you're lucky enough to get on it.
"Going private is my only option. I have to raise the money somehow... I do feel it's unfair that after all the work I've done for the NHS, I have to pay for this myself. But I don't blame MK hospital - I loved working there and all this is the fault of the system, not the hospital."
Katie has launched a fundraising page in a bid to raise the cash. But so far the donations have totally just £500. You can view the page here.
She is hoping to have the operation in a private London clinic in September. Meanwhile she is taking large doses of prescription painkillers to ease the pain.
"It's miserable. I want to have a full life and I want to work for the NHS. I may not be able to do as much lifting as there will always be a weakness in my back, but I'm sure I'll be able to do something," she said.