Meet Katie – an incredibly brave teenager and bagpiping extraordinaire to boot!
Katie has complex health issues including Juvenile Arthritis and Crohn’s and is a wheelchair user due to chronic pain.
Two years ago, mum Jane noticed that Katie was beginning to lean to one side in her chair. X-rays showed two curves in her spine and she was referred to Mr Tsirikos, spinal surgeon at the RHCYP. He confirmed a diagnosis of severe scoliosis, the only treatment option being spinal fusion.
When Katie arrived at the hospital, she brought her beloved bagpipes too. It was on this day that she first got to share her love of piping with the team that would perform her surgery and look after her afterwards.
She spent three weeks recovering – with the dream of being able to play her great highland pipes again spurring her on!
Mum Jane says: “The first time Katie was able to leave the ward after surgery she visited ECHC’s Hub, where she ‘rode a roller coaster’ using VR technology. The Hub instantly became a special, safe place for Katie to escape the medical side of being in hospital. She also loved joining in with the charity’s Youth Club sessions.
“During the days she couldn’t leave the ward she was entertained by Gerry the storyteller and Rhys from Tinderbox, as well as lots of arts activities which proved invaluable. Fun and laughter really are the best medicine.
“I was fortunate to be given a room in the new Ronald McDonald house which was a godsend. On several occasions I was called to the ward in the night, and its close proximity allowed me to be with Katie in just a few minutes.
- Jane, Katie's mum
“Thanks to her life-changing surgery Katie can continue to pursue her passion for piping. Just one month after arriving home she was playing her great highland pipes again and has even been out performing on the streets of Dundee!
“She now feels really confident about her future and will forever be grateful to the amazing teams at RHCYP and ECHC.”
We were also thrilled to have Katie bring a burst of bagpipe energy to the hospital’s first birthday celebrations in March! (pictured left)