A 47-year-old mother suffering from scoliosis has been left with a severe spinal curvature after giving birth to twins.
Narelle Lockett, from Queensland’s Caloundra West, was diagnosed with a ‘mild’ scoliosis when she was just 21 years old.
But since she became pregnant with daughters Grace and Sofia at the age of 40, she has been living with a 40 degree curve in her spine after her abdominal muscle split.
Speaking to Daily Mail Australia, the single mother-of-three said the debilitating condition has even caused her to shrink by 1.5 centimetres in the past 18 months.
Mother Narelle Lockett (right) has been left with a severe spinal curvature after giving birth to twin daughters Grace and Sofia (centre with the brother Blake, aged 14) at the age of 40
The 47-year-old mother has been living with two 40 degree curve in her spine after her abdominal muscle split during last pregnancy
‘Between the ages of 21 and 40, barely anything changed. I was really fit until my abdominal muscle split when I had an unexpected pregnancy to the twins at 40,’ she said.
Things started to get worse as her spine curved dramatically – and at seven months pregnant, the mother said she was unable to move her left arm.
‘It got bad really fast,’ she said.
And more than seven years on, the mother said she has been suffering from excruciating pain after x-rays reveal two 40 degree bend.
‘If I do something like clean the windows, by the time I finish cleaning, I would be in excruciating pain,’ she said.
‘My muscles have gotten so weak. I’ve been hitting a brick wall at every turn. I have moments where I feel like my head is too heavy for my neck.
‘The muscle teared further over the years. Of course, I would use my muscles in my tummy because I have a bad back but my stomach has gotten so weak. You can see my internal organs go through my back.
‘My prospects down the track are getting really scary.’
She has been suffering excruciating pain after she was left with a severe spinal curvature
The abdominal surgery she requires to fix her back is part of cosmetic surgery but she claims Medicare won’t cover the procedure
Ms Lockett said she has repeatedly sought medical help but to no avail.
‘For the past four years, I feel like I have been going around in circles every time I’d go to the doctors,’ she said.
‘With little core strength, my spine is no longer supported. It’s getting scary if my back curves even more.’
The abdominal surgery she requires to fix her back is part of cosmetic surgery but she claims Medicare won’t cover the procedure.
‘Medicare doesn’t cover abdominal repairs unless it’s part of a full tummy tuck,’ she said.
‘I only need one out of the three surgeries. But I am not eligible for the procedure because the surgery is intended for those with excess skin.
At the moment, Ms Lockett said she has been going to bed every night with a near-infrared LED technology strapped to her back to ease the pain
‘I’m only 55 kilograms, I don’t have any loose excess skin. I’m literally being punished for staying thin because my curved spin is not considered.
‘I don’t want to get to that state where someone says now I can help you.’
The mother said she fears if she doesn’t get the spinal surgery, her children will have to help her dress every day.
‘My back could curve even more – and my children will have to help me dress because my back would start to seize up,’ she said.
‘For obvious reasons, I want to avoid that but no one would help me.’
‘When people ask me where I’ll be in 10 years’ time, I don’t even want to go there.’
The single mother has been raising three children on her own – twins Grace and Sofie now aged six and 14-year-old son Blake
Since she became pregnant with daughters Grace (left) and Sofia (right) at the age of 40, she has been living with a 40 degree curve in her spine after her abdominal muscle split
At the moment, Ms Lockett said she has been going to bed every night with a near-infrared LED technology strapped to her back to ease the pain.
‘It reduces the inflammation, nerve damage and pain,’ she said.
‘I have to use the light virtually every day or my lower spine and neck would seize up really quickly,’ she said.
‘If I don’t use the light, I’m just crying from the pain, I would feel sick and I turn grey. I’m still mobile but I’m aware the lights can’t work forever.’
She explained the LED light has helped control her pain levels.
‘It works on every living cell of your body, and absorbs the infrared rays. So this helps accelerate your body to heal,’ Ms Lockett said.
Her spine started to curve dramatically when she was pregnant with twin daughters at age 40
The abdominal muscle split has left the mother with little core strength to support her spine
But despite the pain reliever, the mother still has a severe curve in her spine.
Ms Lockett said she has no choice but to set up a GoFundMe page in a last-ditch attempt to raise money for her life-saving surgery.
‘The banks won’t lend me money, I’ve tried. It’s really frustrating because the doctors won’t have a conversation with me about my condition,’ she said.
‘I’ve been raising my kids on my own and I’ve gotten so desperate. I’m just a little lost. I’m a really proud person so the idea of asking for donations terrifies me.
‘But the stress has really bogged me down. The stress has gotten worse and there’s now a dark cloud hanging over my head.’
To make a donation, please visit the GoFundMe page.