| 13.2°C Dublin

Lauren's new lease of life after Herald op campaign

A brave teenager who successfully underwent life-changing surgery which saved her from paralysis is enjoying her new lease of life.

Lauren Browne (17) from Waterford was suffering idiopathic scoliosis and her spine was curving at such a rapid rate than she faced paralysis if she did not get the much-needed surgery in time.

But in spite of the severity of her condition, she failed to make the waiting list at Crumlin hospital.

However, two days after the Herald exposed her plight, she was given an appointment at Cappagh hospital.

Lauren successfully underwent the lengthy operation two months ago and has been at home recovering since.

"She's doing very well and is making amazing progress. We've been to Cappagh for three check-ups and they couldn't believe how well she was doing," her mother Margaret said, speaking to the Herald.

"I would just like to extend a huge thank you to Mr Paul Connolly and his surgical team and all the nurses and staff in St Mary's ward in the Cappagh orthopaedic."

Although she has been at home recovering, she still has aims to begin studying her dream course of Marine Science in NUI Galway next year.

"She's been getting private tuition so we're still aiming for the Leaving Cert in June," Margaret said.

Lauren had become painfully self-conscious about her physical appearance and avoided going out too much for fear of the looks she'd get.

"I don't really go out much these days, I'm too self-conscious. My friends don't even notice any more, but I'm aware when I meet new people that they are looking at me. My back sticks out and I essentially have a hunchback," she said before.

But now she explained how much her life has changed since getting the operation and how emotional she became when she realised she could wear the same clothes as every other 17-year-old girl.

"I just bought a dress which fit perfectly on my shoulders and even tied properly in the back -- I nearly cried in the dressing room when that happened," she said.