Updated: Nov 13, 2020
Anastaysia Pilut, 14, suffered from scoliosis, a debilitating curvature in her spine that, left untreated, would have led to her becoming severely disabled.
A 14-year-old girl is now nine centimetres taller since having a life-changing operation to stop her spine from bending.
Anastaysia Pilut, 14, suffered from scoliosis, a debilitating curvature in her spine that, untreated, would have left her with a 90-degree angle in her spine by the time she was 40.
But staff at Nottingham University Hospitals gave up their free time to perform the operation after hearing of her story.
Anastaysia underwent an 11 hour operation after consultant Masood Shafafy heard of her story from the Chernobyl Children's Lifeline charity.
The organisation brings children from Belarus and Ukraine, the main areas affected by the Chernobyl disaster, to the UK for a respite holiday.
Anastaysia said: “I would like to say thank you to everyone who has helped me, from the charity and the hospital. They have given me a future.”
Mr Shafafy added: “Anastaysia had two curves in her spine which would have continued to worsen over the course of her lifetime. She was in constant pain and by the time she reached 40 it is likely that the curve would have been at 90 degrees and would have led to severe disability. I was determined to help her when I heard about her story.”
The operation used metal rods to straighten out the spine, and left Anastaysia 9cm taller.
Richard Street MBE, chairman of the Pinxton and East Derbyshire Link of the Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline, said this was the first time they had been involved in helping to fund an operation.
He said: “When we first found out how much it would cost we thought that it would be impossible to fund but we were determined to find a way around it.
“We were absolutely delighted when Mr Shafafy and his team agreed to waive their fees and perform the surgery for free. I cannot find the words to say how grateful we are. Everyone at the hospital has been so helpful in making this happen.”
DePuy Synthes, part of the Johnson & Johnson family of companies, makes the device that was used in the operation and donated this to the charity free of charge, also significantly reducing the overall cost.
Peter Butler, from DePuy Synthes, said: “When we heard about the opportunity to help Anastaysia we felt compelled to do what we could to help make the operation possible.
"We are delighted that the medical device we were able to provide to assist with the procedure will make a real difference to the quality of Anastaysia’s life.”
Anastaysia, who presented Mr Shafafy with a Russian doll to say thank you, spent seven weeks recuperating at the home of her host family, George and June Elliott, near Chesterfield before flying back to Belarus last weekend.
Chernobyl Children’s Lifeline is run entirely by volunteers and regularly brings children from the Ukraine and Belarus, the main areas affected by the Chernobyl disaster, to England for respite holidays.
For more information on becoming a host family for children affected by the Chernobyl disaster, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Article written by Nottinghamshire Live - https://www.nottinghampost.com/news/health/girl-9cm-taller-after-life-561398