An on-line fund raising campaign, GoFundMe, for a Crudwell, near Malmesbury, teenager to pay for life-changing surgery in America has been boosted by a £5,000 donation from the Malmesbury League of Friends.

14-year old Avie David suffers from a rare spinal complaint called Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis (AIS) which, unless treated, could cause permanent disability.

The operation to rectify this, called Vertebral Body Tethering, is available in the UK, but not on the NHS. But it is available at the Shriner’s Charity Hospital in Philadelphia, where experience of this surgery is much greater and where Avie has recently been successfully tested.

As a teenager, the effect of AIS as Avie grows will cause her rib cage to push against her heart and lungs, bringing problems of breathing, mobility and pain.

Avie’s mother Sarah said: “ We are so incredibly grateful to all those who, so far, have contributed, with the MLOF donation, over £31,000. This has gone a long way to covering all the costs.”

MLOF chairman David Hide said: “ MLOF exists to provide medical treatment and equipment not available on the NHS to organisations and individuals who badly need help. We sincerely hope that our donation, along with all the others, will result in a successful outcome for Avie.”

Avie is currently waiting to hear from the Shriner Hospital when she can travel to the USA for her operation, but it is hoped that this will be by July or August at the latest.

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