A FUNDRAISING campaign has been launched to help pay for a Malmesbury teenager to have life-changing surgery in America.
Avie David, 14, suffers from a rare spinal complaint called Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) which, unless treated, could cause permanent disability.
As a teenager, the effect of AIS as Avie grows will cause her rib cage to push against her heart and lungs, bringing problems of breathing, mobility and pain.
The operation to rectify this, Vertebral Body Tethering, is available in the UK but not on the NHS.
The NHS are currently carrying out a clinical trial on VBT in the hope it will be a potential surgery that could be offered routinely. But after meeting with surgeons Avie found out that, due to her rotation and growth stage, and the strict parameters of the trial, she was not eligible for it.
However, it is also available at the Shriner’s Charity Hospital in Philadelphia – where experience of this surgery is greater and where Avie has recently been successfully tested.
A GoFundMe page has now been set up in support of Avie, from Crudwell, with a target set of £40,000. That target is now close to being reached, following a £5,000 donation from Malmesbury League of Friends (MLOF).
Avie’s mother Sarah said: “ We are so incredibly grateful to all those who, so far, have contributed, with the MLOF donation, over £31,000.
“This has gone a long way to covering all the costs.”
MLOF chairman David Hide said: “ MLOF exists to provide medical treatment and equipment not available on the NHS to organisations and individuals who badly need help.
“We sincerely hope that our donation, along with all the others, will result in a successful outcome for Avie.”
Avie is currently waiting to hear from the Shriner Hospital when she can travel to the USA for her operation, but it is hoped that this will be by July or August at the latest.
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