Oriana, 19, crowdfunds for spine operation not available on NHS

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Picture: Oriana with parents Jonathan and Mila

A teenager with a life-limiting spine condition has said time is running out for her to be effectively treated.

Oriana Situ-Chivers, who lives in Paddock Wood, has a severe form of scoliosis and which has left her backbone in an ‘S’ shape with two 60 degree curves.

The 19-year-old has dropped out of university and had to stop driving, taking part in sport and even stop playing flute as the condition has worsened this year.

It is now almost impossible for her to walk for more than ten minutes.

For the past eight years she has been wearing a back brace. But this has only ever been a short term solution.

Oriana said she needs Anterior Scoliosis Correction [ASC], an advanced surgery that she will need to travel to Germany for because it is not available on the NHS.

And this September she will travel to travel there for the treatment in a last-ditch attempt to heal her spine before her back matures and becomes too inflexible to treat.

But at £47,000, the surgery does not come cheap. Her parents Jonathan and Mila have made financial sacrifices to put £17,000 towards it.

Now she is asking for your help in a Crowdfunding campaign, to raise the remaining £30,000.


Oriana told the Times: ‘The pain is always there. Some days it is better than others.

‘My mum noticed something was wrong with my back when I was three but it took a long time before anyone took it seriously. It was diagnosed when I was seven.

‘I have seen all sorts of doctors. But the only treatment available in the UK sees back muscles stripped from the spine and straightened with metal rods.

‘My aim has always been to avoid this as patients who use it nearly always suffer some back pain.’

ASC, however, sees a flexible chord attached, which is tightened to help straighten the spine.

Oriana was born in New Zealand but moved to the UK with her family in the hope of better treatment. She attended Weald of Kent Grammar School in Tonbridge.

She was just weeks away from finishing her first year at the European School of Osteopathy but had to drop out just before her exams began.

The ordeal has caused her anxiety and depression. But she hopes that if her surgery is a success it could lead to the NHS backing it.

‘I really want to gain publicity to help others [with the condition] and for ASC to become widely available in the UK,’ Oriana added.

Oriana has currently raised more than £4,000. To donate, visit https://uk.gofundme.com/orianas-spine

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