My daughter Leigh (27) single mother of two small boys urgently needs back surgery, it is estimated that the procedure will cost R490000, medical aid will cover everything except R70000. This is her story....
Two month ago while at home my legs collapsed and I experienced severe debilitating pain in my back, having my boys with me I took pain killers and tried to cope. The next day I could barely walk and unable to cope with the pain any longer I called my dad to take me to hospital and a friend to fetch my boys.
I have always suffered pain from a severe painful Scoliosis (twisting of the spine) but was told as a teenager there was nothing that could be done to improve it.
I was hospitalized for a week where they did X-Rays and MRI scan and tried to manage the pain with schedule 6 medication, also underwent a spinal block to relieve the pain, which unfortunately had no effect at all.
I was then diagnosed with Kyphoscoliosis, Kyphosis is the forward bend of the top of your spine and scoliosis is the curvature of the spine.
I was referred to another specialist and the news I received made my heart sink and I felt like my whole world had eventually caved in. I was told I need a massive 9 hour surgery and there is no other option for me. Scoliosis is measured in degrees, if your curvature degree is less than 36` you have a chance of improvement with physio etc to try and correct the spine, my Scoliosis curvature is sitting on 51` and my Kyphosis is at 71` which will continue to get worse and my only option is corrective surgery. The pressure of my spine has also caused severe disk degeneration in my lower L4 & L5 as well as L5 & S1 vertebra, causing disk bulge and compression of my nerves.
My first question was what happens if I don't have this operation and the reply was that in my 30`s & 40`s I could become paralyzed if the spine degenerates further(which it will) or ruptures nerves etc in my lower back. I then asked what I could do until the surgery as it would only be possible to do the opp in 2 months time, the specialist said unfortunately my only option is to continue taking schedule 6 pain killers (Tramacet) two tablets three times a day, unfortunately I am unable to take them during the day as I cant work on such strong medication.
The corrective surgery will entail 2 rods on each side of my spine as well as 22 screws. They will open my entire spine as well as open my abdomen to screw the base plate in. the good news is that if I have the operation I will be completely mobile and can continue running around with my boys and live a normal life.
I then booked the date for the surgery(23rd of August 2017) before leaving his office and started the process with medical aid and doing the necessary procedures. The medical aid then replied and said they will cover all hospital which is almost R500000.00 and only a portion of the Doctors fee will be covered due to the specialist not being contracted to medical aid, my contribution towards the operation is R70,000.00 whick is amazing but already struggling to make ends meet as it is I definitely don't have R70000.00.