Parents aim to raise £150,000 for daughter’s ‘life-changing’ surgery

From left, Mark Robertson, Macy, little brother Louis and mum Nicky

From left, Mark Robertson, Macy, little brother Louis and mum Nicky

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A couple have made an emotional plea for help to raise funds for their daughter who is in need of immediate life-changing surgery.

Macy Robertson was just six years old when she was diagnosed with a severe curvature of her spine and has been forced to wear a brace for 20 hours a day ever since.

Her condition, known as scoliosis, was discovered after she was admitted to the Sick Kids Hospital with a virus.

The ten-year-old from Dunbar, was found to have three separate curves in her spine measuring 40 to 48 degrees and is now in need of urgent surgery as her rib cage continues to twist around her body.

Her parents, Nicky and Mark, are hoping to raise £150,000 by January to send her to New Jersey in the US for Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT) – the only surgery which would allow her to continue to grow normally and have mobility of the whole spine.

Nicky said: “We did exactly as we were told by the doctors after Macy was diagnosed.

“Wearing a brace every day has taken a toll on her emotional wellbeing and she is a ten-year-old girl who simply can’t cope.

“To say she is active is an understatement, and her activities have been severely restricted. She can’t even play tig with her friends.

“In August this year we went to get a second opinion, and the doctor advised us to remove Macy’s brace if it was severely affecting her emotions – which it is.

“We thought from that moment we would have at least a year to organise surgery for her, but she has deteriorated rapidly and it has been advised she needs surgery now.

“Vertebral body tethering isn’t available in Scotland but it’s the only surgery we feel as parents will still give her a ‘normal’ life. Wearing a brace has completely destroyed her.”

Macy, who is a primary six pupil at Dunbar Primary School has been absent from school regularly due to her condition.

She has been offered surgery on the NHS known as spinal fusion, but this would involve surgeons inserting metal rods into her spine which would severely limit her movement and prevent her from growing in height.

However, VBT will straighten Macy’s spine while allowing her to grow and remain flexible.

Last week a fundraising campaign set up by Macy’s mum raised an overwhelming £28,000.

The family returned on Thursday from a three-day trip to the Institute for Spine and Scoliosis in New Jersey to discuss the proposed surgery.

Nicky, who works with East Lothian Council, added: “As Macy’s parents, we can’t let her have the fusion.

“It may save her physically, but it will destroy her in other ways, having major consequences for the rest of her life.

“As fusion is now the only option in the UK, our only hope is to go to America for VBT, but time is running out.”

To donate to help Macy receive the surgery she needs, visit: www.gofundme.com/fund-spine-surgery-for-macy

courtney.cameron@jpress.co.uk