THE family of a 12-year-old with a curved spine say they are over the moon after learning she will be able to have pioneering surgery in Germany later this year.

Lauren Rennie, from Ushaw Moor, near Durham, is getting the operation to correct a 54 degree bend in her spine, which has had since she was a baby.

Her parents Joanne and Stuart had initially hoped to take her to the Shriners Hospital, in the US, for vertical body tethering surgery, which they believe will give her a better quality life than the treatment available in the UK and will enable her to continue to play the sports she loves.

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They were turned down by doctors in the US but German specialist Dr Trobisch has now agreed to perform the surgery in May.

Mrs Rennie, who works with children in care, said: “We were made up and Lauren is so happy.

“She’s lived with it since she was young so it’s all she knows but she’s over the moon with the idea that she’s going to be fixed.”

The family is now hoping to raise £32,000 for the treatment. They have already raised around £9,000 and Durham Johnston School, where Lauren is a pupil, has agreed to hold a sponsored silence.

During the consultation in Germany, it emerged that Lauren, who was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was one, has three curves in her spine, which means the operation will be more complex.

As a result the surgery will have to take place in a bigger hospital with more specialist staff, and part of her recovery will be in intensive care.

Mrs Rennie said: “Dr Trobisch explained that the reason she was turned down by the Shriners Hospital was because she has three curves, which means there’s a chance of it knocking her shoulders together.

“But he is willing to take the risk to give her a better quality of life. Even if it doesn’t work and she needs an operation in the future, it wouldn’t be a fusion of the whole spine so she would still have her flexibility.

“It’s a no brainer for us because it means she won’t have metal rods in her spine.”

They are hoping the results of Lauren’s surgery will be used to progress the operation in the UK, as it is being monitored by NICE, the body responsible for approving new NHS treatments.