A Portstewart woman, who faced a life of crippling pain due to a serious spinal deformity, has made a full recovery following specialised treatment in England.

Twenty-two-year-old nursery nurse, Sarah Asher, was diagnosed with the potentially fatal condition of scoliosis when she was just 13 and endured years of agonising pain in her back and legs.

Energetic and passionate about life, Sarah resigned herself to the fact that the debilitating condition was going to affect her for the rest of her life.

Scoliosis causes the spine to excessively curve sideways.

The condition affects more than four percent of the population and if left untreated can lead to fatal heart and lung problems.

Current treatment in this country is to wait until the curve becomes so severe, that the only option left is to operate.

The major operation is an incredibly risky procedure which involves metal rods being inserted either side of the spine, before the spine is fused solid.

After endless X-rays and appointments, Sarah was told she had no other option but to sit back and wait for her condition to deteriorate.

Bitterly disappointed and dissatisfied with the final prognosis, Sarah was disgusted with the lack of treatment choices. She bravely continued with everyday life until she was 21 when suddenly at a routine check-up she was hit with a bombshell that surgery was needed and fast.

Sarah was devastated, after being ignored by the National Health Service for eight years and began to frantically search for an alternative treatment. It was at this point that she came across Scoliosis SOS.

Founded and run by Erika Maude, who has scoliosis herself, the clinic opened five years ago and has since brought relief to hundreds of sufferers.

It is the only clinic in the world to offer treatment following the ScolioGold method, which is the combination of internationally renowned non-surgical treatments, which have been practiced separately in Europe for several decades.

Sarah wanted to remain flexible and retain her mobility, so having an operation to fuse certain parts of her spine was not an option she was even prepared to consider. Working as a nursery nurse, being able to move freely and carry young children was essential. Once at the clinic Sarah’s initial apprehension quickly evaporated and within four days of attending treatment she was ecstatic to find that her pain was finally diminishing.

Sarah told The Coleraine Times: “It really helped knowing that I was not alone.

“Being able to reduce my pain has been fantastic. I was suffering on a daily basis sometimes to the point where I just could not leave the house.

“I have so much left to give to the children and I am just so grateful that the treatment has given me the opportunity to continue with my nursery nursing, as I do enjoy it so very much.

“I can really say that I have got a spring back in my step and I feel I am getting back to the bubbly young girl I used to be. I will be eternally grateful for the individual care and consideration Scoliosis SOS has shown.”

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