Jessica – My Scoliosis Story

Hi, my name is Jessica Lesslie and here is my story about scoliosis. Since the age of 13, I have been on a long rollercoaster ride of scoliosis. It all started when I got back from Coolendal camp, eager to get home and see my Mum after the long and tiring week under the stars. All it took was a fortunate bend over and Mum noticed the ridge hump on my back. Her first impression was that I had potentially injured myself at camp. Confused, we went to the doctors to get it checked out, the doctor ordered an X-Ray for the next day and from that afternoon, little did I know that my life had changed for the worse but also for the positive. Our GP called Mum that same afternoon and said that we needed to see a paediatric orthopaedic surgeon urgently.

In January, 2018, I found out that I had to wear a spinal brace for two years to try and prevent my curve from progressing as I diagnosed at 42 degrees, just under surgical parameters (which is 50 degrees and higher!). Time for a little rant- so basically wearing a spinal brace 24/7 and doing specialised rehab exercises was the worst and best thing that could have ever happen to me. Firstly has made me a stronger person, secondly I understand a greater significance of working hard for something you truly want can pay off and thirdly having empathy and an understanding towards others suffering whether they are disabled or not, trust me I’ve somewhat lived it! It’s caused an emotional, physical and psychological strain on me, but I kept pushing and never gave up (but believe me there’s been times I have wanted to and I’ve cried over why life has given me this!).

People may have called me names, but without them I wouldn’t have been where I am today, the strong, beautiful and amazing person I have become. So, my message to you is that times can be tough, but there is a bright light at the end of the tunnel with amazing things just for you! Sometimes you’ve just got to let nature run its course.

Scoliosis is quite a significant topic, not widely spoken enough in schools, so we need to introduce screening again into schools, to ensure kids of the future don’t go down the road of surgery or even wearing a spinal brace. Parents and carers, make sure to check your children for scoliosis, when they hit puberty or even before (start checking as early as possible!) to prevent them going through what I went through. Scoliosis is a horrible thing to wish upon someone and I never want someone to go through what I went through, but the bright side is they will have a better understanding and positivity on life itself!

If you’re going through something difficult or even scoliosis, don’t hesitate to reach out and talk to me! I’m always happy to have a chat with anyone, I have suffered too and I will help as much as I can cause I really care about you all!

Love Jess

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