Addison is an energetic, mischievous, caring, sensitive child who loves Irish Dancing, babies and looking after her younger cousins. She is 10 years old, and lives with congenital kyphosis and scoliosis. Scoliosis is an S or C-shaped spinal deformity where the spine curves sideways. Kyphosis is an increase in the forward curvature of the spine.
Addison’s older brother was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia when she was two, and she took on the role of nurse Addison to care for her older brother – she even learnt the process of nasal gastric tube feeds. We often were on the oncology ward and then had orthopedic appointments on the same day.
Addison has had regular 6 monthly x-rays since birth, with occasional MRIs and CT scans as well. She wore a back brace from the ages of 3 to 10, which significantly restricted her movement, and last July she had major back surgery to insert growth rods to her spine to lessen the curve. After that surgery, she wore a back brace for another 4 months to help stabilize the rods while the screws fused to her spine. Since then, she often experiences back pain.
Addison has just had another surgery to extend the rods, and will continue to have extensions until she stops growing.
Addison started school wearing a back brace and has a great group of friends who have helped her, especially her best friends who are twin sisters – they helped her take her brace on and off at school, wheeled her around after her first big surgery and held her hand walking after her second surgery as she was a bit unstable walking for a few days. She also has a Higgy Bear teddy that has a back brace just like her that goes into surgery and stays in hospital with her.
Addison loves Harley Quinn, building Lego, watching YouTube, colouring in and crafts.