A BRAVE Chester teenager who avoided a life-threatening operation to straighten his spine is now chopping and high-kicking his way towards his dreams.
When he was 12, sports-mad Christopher Martin’s spine started to curve rapidly to the right twisting and contorting his back so badly he was told he would never stand up straight again.
But now after his determined mother, Neave, fought to help her active son avoid a brutal operation where metal rods would be placed down his back, Christopher is training hard to fulfil his dream of becoming a karate star – without going near the surgeon’s table.
Less than a year after he was diagnosed with scoliosis – a condition which causes the spine to curve – the teenager is back enjoying football and tennis with his friends at Blacon High School, something his mum feared he’d never have the confidence to do again.
“When Christopher was first diagnosed with scoliosis I was paranoid he was going to lose all of his confidence and become withdrawn,” said Neave.
“I knew teenagers could be affected by their appearance and I was desperate to limit any long-term damage this would have on him.
“I was worried about him having surgery, the operation sounded so brutal and I had read about so many things that could have gone wrong.”
In an attempt to help her son avoid the extensive surgery or face years of wearing a brace to slow the curving of his spine Neave spent hours searching the web and came across an alternative treatment provided by Scoliosis SOS.
And after a consultation Christopher spent four weeks surrounded by other teenagers suffering from scoliosis, making friends and having treatment to stabilise his condition and improve his posture, confidence and lung capacity.
Now, in what his mum describes as a ‘miracle’ and a ‘dream come true’, Christopher has returned home and is determined to get back to being a normal teenager, training three times a week at a karate club in the hope of becoming a professional athlete.
“I hated my back, I thought it looked horrible,” said Christopher, who is now 13.
“It was awful and nobody understood how bad I felt about myself.
“Karate has always been something I loved and I was horrified when they told me about fitting metal rods down my back. I can remember feeling like I might as well give up, why is this happening to me, what did I do wrong?
“Getting this treatment has changed my life, I feel like a normal teenager again, I can sleep properly and I don’t worry about taking my top off.
“I feel so lucky to have found these exercises and I am looking forward to getting back to being me.”
For more information on scoliosis and the treatment provided by Scoliosis SOS, visit www.scoliosissos.com.