Life Health Features

Thursday 22 March 2018

Scoliosis sufferer Orla (19) on surgery waiting list: 'My spine is at a 50-degree angle and it'll deteriorate until I’m fully hunched over'

Orla cannot go to college until her condition is fixed.
Orla cannot go to college until her condition is fixed.

A 19-year-old woman who has a severe curve on her spine due to scoliosis has told how she fears her condition will deteriorate further if she is forced to wait for surgery any longer.

Scoliosis sufferer Orla told RTE’s Liveline today that when she was diagnosed with scoliosis two years ago, her spine was at a 45-degree angle. It has now worsened to a 50-degree angle.

Orla, who has been on a surgery waiting list for two years, said she cannot go to college until her condition is fixed.

“I can’t go out and do what normal people do - go to college - because I’m in so much pain with it at the minute.”

“[The surgery] has a really good outcome. I’m stuck in a hole. I can’t do anything, I can’t go to college; I can’t do anything at the minute.”

Orla has been prescribed painkillers three times a day, and she is still waiting for her surgery to be scheduled.

“It’s getting really bad now. I’m on painkillers three times a day.”

“They haven’t given me a date yet. They say they’re very sorry, they’re going to come back to me with a date. But they won’t give me a date.”

“I did my leaving cert last year and they said in July that they’d come back to me with a date.”

The more that Orla’s condition worsens, the more invasive the surgery could become.

 “When I got diagnosed, [my spine] was at a 45-degree angle, now I’m at 50. My health will deteriorate until I’m fully hunched over.”

“If it gets to an 85-degree angle, they would have to go through my chest and back to operate on me.”

For now, Orla told Liveline how badly she wants to have the surgery done.

“I can’t do much - I just help at home with the house. You just look at the four walls. I can’t walk very far because it gets very sore.”

 “They just say they can’t get a bed for me. They say they could do it in the morning if they could but they can’t get a bed for me.”

“The doctors show me people who’ve had it done and how successful it was. I just really want it done now like.”

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