THE family of a girl hoping to get pioneering treatment to “cure her wonky back” are praying to get the go ahead in the New Year.

Lauren Rennie, from Ushaw Moor, near Durham, has a 54 degree bend in her spine caused by scoliosis, which she has had since she was a baby and meant she spent almost four years in a full body plaster cast.

The Northern Echo: HOPE: Lauren Rennie, 12, from Ushaw Moor, wants to travel to Germany for pioneering treatment for scoliosis after being turned down for the surgery in the US

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It means the sports-loving 12-year-old, who is a pupil at Durham Johnston School, will eventually have to have surgery because of the risk of her spine deflating her lungs.

Her parents Joanne and Stuart hope she will be able to have a new treatment , vertical body tethering, which they think would give her better quality of life.

They found out three weeks ago that Lauren will not be able to travel to America for the treatment because the doctor had concerns her shoulders would not align properly.

They are now going to see Dr Trobisch in Simmerath, Germany, who has agreed to examine Lauren to see if she can undergo the procedure.

Mrs Rennie, who heard about VBT on Britain’s Got Talent after Simon Cowell paid for a contestant to have the operation, said: “Lauren was devastated about America. She sobbed all night.

“We’re trying not to get our hopes up too much but it’s positive they want to see her.

“We’re all praying that it will be good news. This is our last hope really. If it’s a yes we’ll start fundraising again.”

Lauren was diagnosed with scoliosis when she about one and was first put in a plaster body cast aged 14 months.

She wore the cast, which was changed every three months, for around four years, when she was given a removable plastic one to enable her to live a more normal life.

They will be going to the clinic for a consultation on January 11. If she is approved, there is a £30,000 hospital charge to have the procedure.

VBT is currently being monitored by NICE, the body responsible for approving new drugs and treatments for the NHS.

The alternative in the UK is spinal fusion, which involves having metal rods inserted into the spine and means Lauren, who plays netball, basketball and does trampolining, might not be able to be as active in the future.

Mrs Rennie added: “It’s been so frustrating because there are doctors in the UK who are trained in it but none of them will do it privately because it’s not NICE approved.

“It’s coming but it’s still a couple of years away. It’s so much less invasive and would give her a much better quality of life.”