A year after life-changing surgery at Epworth Richmond, a girl from the Philippines has graduated primary school and is making great progress.

In November 2020, 11-year-old Nichole Jamelo underwent surgery to correct a severe curvature of the spine caused by a condition known as scoliosis. Her spine had two 90-degree bends in it, resembling the shape of an ‘S’.

The operation was undertaken on a pro-bono basis by spinal surgeon, Associate Professor Yi Yang.

Guided by computer-aided navigation, which provides live three-dimensional imaging, A/Prof Yang placed 23 spinal screws into Nichole’s vertebrae, within millimetres of her spinal cord.

Two titanium rods were then attached to straighten the spine.

After undergoing months of rehabilitation at the Children First Foundation retreat in Kilmore, Nichole returned home earlier this year and has finished her primary school studies.

“I am really happy with how well my treatment went,” Nichole said.

“I am doing my exercises and physiotherapy. I feel great.”

Nichole's life changing surgery