TV programme caused teen to spot back condition
A pretty teen claims that she was saved from a rare skeletal condition – after being diagnosed by KING RICHARD III.
Jennifer White, 19, from Birmingham, West Mids, spent years wondering why her hip would pop out at an odd angle – but she brushed her worries aside.
But after watching a programme about the car park king, who infamously had a hunchback, Jennifer and mum Johanna realised that the 15th century monarch’s symptoms were similar to her own.
After making an appointment with her doctor, she was diagnosed with scoliosis – and X rays revealed her spine was bent at a shocking 63 degree angle.
Medics told her that if the condition had been diagnosed any later, they may not have been able to operate – but after it was caught just in time, she has now made a complete recovery.
Jennifer, a media production student at Staffordshire University, said: “When I was younger, there were a few occasions where I noticed my hip was sticking out – but I’m a worrier, so I thought I was just over-reacting.
“But one day my mum watching a TV programme about Richard III, about how his body was found in a car park.
“When it got to the point where they were showing his skeleton that had been discovered in Leicester, she said ‘oh, maybe you have scoliosis too,’ almost as a bit of a joke.
“But then I looked into it further, and there were so many similarities – it just clicked, and suddenly everything fell into place.
“We made an appointment at the doctor’s straight away, and that’s when I got diagnosed.
“Really it’s like Richard III helped diagnose my scoliosis!”
Jennifer had actually been living with crippling spinal condition scoliosis – which causes sufferers spines to slowly start bending into an S shape.
Jennifer finally had surgery to correct the dramatic curve in her spine last month – and she is thrilled with the results.
She added: “I don’t really know when my spine first started curving, but it would’ve worsened as I went through puberty.
“I don’t know why I never picked up on it before – it just wasn’t something I noticed, you don’t tend to look at your own back.
“After my mum watched the TV programme, I did a lot of research and by the time the diagnosis was confirmed by the doctor I’d come to terms with it.
“I think my mum did feel really guilty though – she didn’t know how she couldn’t have noticed before. But it wasn’t something anyone would think to look out for.
“I have idiopathic scoliosis, which means doctors don’t know why I have it or what caused it.
“In scoliosis a curve is common – anything between five and 10 degrees is nothing to worry about, but over 50 degrees needs surgery – and mine was 63.
“Because I was 18 by the time I saw a doctor, I was told surgery wasn’t essential because I had stopped growing – the curve wouldn’t worsen, but the pain might.
“I just wanted to get it fixed, so I went ahead with the surgery.
“I think if we hadn’t seen that programme on Richard III, I would’ve realised what was wrong eventually – but it probably would’ve been a few years down the line.
“By then, it might have been too late to operate – as the older you are, the less they recommend surgery.
“If it wasn’t for that TV show, I could’ve have been stuck with a curve and back pain forever.”
Incredibly, just over a month after having back surgery, Jennifer’s spine is almost completely straight – and she’s already up and walking around.
She said: “I’m so happy with the results.
“When I had the curve, it was really difficult to go out and do things.
“I couldn’t do sport, if I went shopping I had back pain after 20 minutes, and nights out were ruined.
“I know some people have it a lot worse so I’m lucky in some ways, but it was just awful.
“Now that I’ve had the surgery, I already feel so much better – my recovery is going really well, and a lot quicker than I thought it would – the staff at the hospital were amazing, and my family were so supportive.
“It was terrifying to think about, and I’ve got a long way to go until I’m fully recovered, but I’m so glad I did it.
“I’m just so much happier as a person – it’s weird to think something so simple as a curved spine could have such an impact on my life.”