Stoke-on-Trent teen undergoes life changing spinal surgery in Germany

A teenager from Stoke-on-Trent has had pioneering surgery in Germany, after his family raised nearly £30,000 for him to undergo the treatment.

18-year-old Luke Roberts was diagnosed with scoliosis at the age of 15, meaning his spine was becoming increasingly twisted and curved.

The teenager, who is on the autistic spectrum and suffers with dyspraxia, also developed alopecia, and has been treated for depression.

His family found out about the 'vertebral body tethering' surgery, which is not available on the NHS, which would reduce the curvature and allow Luke to retain his mobility - and spent months tirelessly fundraising to meet the cost.

They had to borrow some money to reach the final amount so Luke could have the operation before his condition - and mental state - got worse.

But after undergoing hours of surgery, his family say he is like a different person.

Mum Carol said: "It was like his whole demeanour had changed.

"He face looked softer, like all the pain etched on his face before had disappeared.

"It is not just physically he has been helped, but mentally and emotionally.

"He now feels he is more of a normal boy."

Amongst Luke's well wishers is former Stoke City boss and Manchester United legend Lou Macari, who organised a trip to Old Trafford ahead of the operation, and sent him a letter reminding him to stay active now he has had the surgery.

After returning home, he put on his football boots for the first time in 10 months, and had a kickabout with his dad.


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