Charlotte's Story

2 April 2020

Hi, my name is Charlotte and I'm 27 years old. I was first diagnosed with scoliosis when I was 12. I noticed my clothes weren't fitting properly and I didn't look like other girls my age. My mum noticed my spine was curved and took me to the GP who referred me. At my consultation, I had an X-ray and was then diagnosed with scoliosis. At first, it was only mild and was to be monitored but my scoliosis progressed rapidly and in 2007 I underwent spinal fusion at the Queens Medical Centre when I just 14. I found that physically I recovered really well and I had a new lease of life. However, mentally there was a real lack of support and I began to suffer from severe anxiety and panic attacks.

I decided to become a regional representative for Scoliosis Association because it's a charity that is very close to my heart and I really want to help others going through similar situations. I felt very much alone throughout my scoliosis journey and I do not want anyone to feel this way. I want to raise more awareness of the condition and I've already started doing so by appearing on the BBC news and the radio. I've also set up a support group in Leicestershire which at the first meeting proved to be a success and I was amazed at how many people felt the same as me. The support group I've set up is due to run once a month and although this can't happen due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are still having regular group video calls with one another.

The first video call went brilliantly. It’s really good to chat and still have that support network over video call. The first meeting in person in March just consisted of us talking about our scoliosis stories and then out first video call was things we do to help our exercises. The most popular was Pilates.

My mum also rang a lady who got in touch with me who wanted support as her daughter is due to have the surgery.

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