Family's joy after anonymous £40k donation towards schoolgirl's spinal surgery

A Carrickfergus mum has told of her delight after an anonymous donation of £40k towards her daughter's spinal surgery.

Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 12:40 pm
Emily with mum, Brenda.

The family of Emily Scott, 12, said they received news of the "substantial" donation on Tuesday.

Emily was diagnosed in March with idiopathic scoliosis, causing a sideways curve of the spine.

According to the NHS, the condition most often starts in children aged 10-15, and can sometimes be treated with a back brace.

Occasionally, however, spinal fusion surgery is required.

Larne Grammar School pupil Emily was due to be assessed further at Musgrave Hospital in June, before the coronavirus crisis halted all scoliosis services.

With her condition worsening at an alarming rate, the family decided to raise the £45k required to have the surgery privately abroad.

An online fundraising page had already generated over £7000 towards the cost of the treatment before a surprise donation of £40k took them over the line.

"We were absolutely delighted; the donation was completely anonymous and we have no idea who it was; they contacted me through GoFundMe and it was only when the money came through that I realised it was genuine," said Emily's mum, Brenda.

"When we first started [the campaign], I wondered if we could physically do this as it's a lot of money. I thought it would take a long time to raise but we're now in the position to plan for it."

Although the reality of the operation remains a "scary" prospect for her parents, Emily herself is looking forward to beginning her treatment. "She just can't wait to have it done," said her mum. "She's in a lot of pain with her back and she suffers from headaches as well."

In the meantime, planned fundraising efforts will continue towards additional travel and medical costs outside of the surgery itself.

"Any outstanding monies after all costs are paid will be donated to a local charity Megan’s Wish, who help and support children with scoliosis and their families," read a post on the Facebook page, Emily's Scoliosis Journey.

"We are well aware that there are many children that need this surgery and we hope with us going public, we have raised awareness of waiting times and how the NHS system is broken."