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Sara Van Zandt (13 years old)

Sara Van Zandt
Sara van Zandt from the Netherlands was an extremely enthusiastic little girl. She was passionate about life and loved playing sports in particular hockey. However Sara’s life took a dramatic turn for the worse when she was diagnosed with scoliosis. She had plans to become a professional hockey player and was very determined that she would reach her goal!

Sara underwent endless appointments with the local specialist and was given a dangerous amount of X-rays. She was then told that her only option would be to have major spinal fusion surgery. Major spinal surgery would have meant that she would never have been able to play any sort of contact sports ever again. Sara was distraught. Desperately unhappy with the surgeon’s advice the van Zandt family started to look for alternative treatment options.

It was at this point that they turned to the internet and started to frantically search for treatment which would not involve putting their daughter under anaesthetic for a traumatic 9 hours. After months of searching and seeking advice from anyone they felt they could trust they were advised to look into a clinic in England called Scoliosis SOS. In the beginning the idea of having medical treatment in a foreign country terrified Sara; however she quickly came around to the idea that this could be her only available option other than having surgery.

Soon after discovering the clinic Sara and her family sat down together and made their first initial enquiry. After a few days of anxiously waiting they received a reply. The news was what they had been waiting for, Sara was suitable for treatment. The family were also informed that there was a slot available the following day for her to have a consultation.

The following day, Sara and her father sat nervously by the phone waiting for a call from the clinic. Sara underwent a full telephone consultation which confirmed the good news. She was not only suitable for treatment but recently the clinic had been able to reduce a number of young patients’ Cobb angles. The consultant advised the family that due to Sara’s young age and flexibility, it was very likely that her Cobb angle would at least stabilise, if not decrease in size.

Just weeks later Sara enrolled on a four week course of intensive exercise at the Scoliosis SOS Clinic in London. The exercises were specifically designed for Sara and she took the hard work and language barrier completely in her stride. She made a fantastic set of friends with the same condition as her and learnt a great deal about her scoliosis.

On completion of the course Sara was given a set of results to be really proud of. However this was just the beginning of the good news, as when she returned home and went for her check up X-ray, she was delighted to discover that her Cobb angle had decreased by 5 degrees. This is a remarkable achievement for Sara as she was told by her surgeon that the only way she could reduce her curve would be through having major surgery.

Sara is now back on her feet standing straighter than she has ever stood before. Once more she is back on the hockey pitch fitter than ever with a lung capacity any professional would be jealous of. She will continue with her exercises and hopes that her Cobb angle will continue to decrease.

"Travelling to England to have my treatment seemed a little daunting to start with but it was worth every second I spent away from home, as I now have a new corrected posture which I am truly proud of. I will always be grateful to the SOS clinic, as they really did answer my cry for help!"

If you live in the Netherlands (or anywhere else in the world) and you’re looking for an alternative to spinal fusion surgery, contact the Scoliosis SOS Clinic today – we would be more than happy to welcome you onto one of our treatment courses, and we can even provide accommodation for your stay in London.
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"

To everyone at Scoliosis SOS - Many thanks for all your hard work and patience. You are a wonderful team making a real difference to people's lives.

"
Sally (mother of 15-year-old James) from Norfolk

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