Carys from Moose Jaw, SK is a busy teenager, but a scoliosis diagnosis put her life on pause.
In June 2021, she was referred to Dr. Lauren Allen, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Saskatchewan’s Jim Pattison Children’s Hospital (JPCH), who determined Carys needed spinal fusion surgery to repair the curvature in her spine. Carys missed her last month of grade 10 in June 2022 for the surgery. Two rods, 15 screws and a donor bone graft were placed in Carys’ spine.
Her recovery was initially normal, but in August 2022, she started to have excruciating pain in her shoulder. A screw came loose and was causing the rod to pull away from her spine, which required another surgery. Carys didn’t feel as mentally prepared for the second surgery and felt quite anxious going into it. However, her trust in Dr. Allen and the JPCH team put her mind at ease. Through all the mental and physical challenges of the past couple of years, Carys said having a dedicated children’s hospital has been so important.
“I’ve been to a general hospital and it’s just not the same at all. It’s great knowing that there’s somewhere that kids like me and kids all over Saskatchewan can go to get treated and get help,” Carys said.
Carys continues her surgical care at JPCH and still has some challenges ahead. She recently found out she can never dance again, but she continues to have a positive attitude and works hard to get where she wants to be. The eleventh grader is very focused on school, and hopes to work in the medical field one day.