Mum given new hope as brave scoliosis girl to meet with minister
A girl who pleaded with Health Minister Simon Harris for a date for an operation to treat her aggressive form of scoliosis will meet him at the end of the month.
Sarah-Ann Clyne-Mitchell (12), from Ballybrack, is also scheduled to see a specialist from Cappagh Hospital next Tuesday after arrangements were made by the Department of Health.
Following her appointment, the youngster will meet with Mr Harris on March 28.
Sarah-Ann sent an email to Mr Harris last month after she could no longer bear the pain she has suffered for months.
Despite the progress, her mother Karen (40) is still worried about her receiving treatment in time.
Last Thursday, she received an email from Mr Harris informing her the Cappagh Hospital were looking at her file. On Friday, she received a letter with her consultation appointment.
Scoliosis is where the spine twists and curves to the side.
The most recent x-rays the family have, from December, show that Sarah-Ann has a 60-degree curvature.
Ms Clyne believes her daughter's condition has since worsened and hopes there will be no more delays.
"The longer we wait, the riskier the surgery will be," she said.
"With the media attention that we got, everyone jumped straight on the bandwagon.
"We got a letter from Cappagh Hospital, we're in there next Tuesday - it just shows what happens when you scream and shout."
She said that her daughter is taking a lot of painkillers, which she is "terrified will cause liver damage".
"She's different from her friends. Psychologically she's not great because she's different," Karen said.
"She's got confirmation next month and we couldn't get what she wanted to wear because nothing fitted.
"When it gets to about 100 degrees it becomes inoperable - it's an aggressive form. She grew 10 degrees in four months.
"All of this could have been prevented if they had screening in schools. Once they find a curve that's under 39 degrees, they can correct it with a brace."
Karen, Sarah-Ann and TD Richard Boyd Barrett will be meeting Mr Harris together.