Sophie, 16, raises over £1,000 for the spinal team that treated her at Addenbrooke’s Hospital
PUBLISHED: 14:51 30 June 2020 | UPDATED: 16:17 30 June 2020
A talented teenage ice skater who underwent serious spinal surgery has raised over £1,000 for the hospital team that treated her.
Sophie Barnes, from Littleport, is pictured holding her skates in the air on the day she skated 28 miles from Cambridge North to St Ives along the guided bus route.
As well as marking a successful fundraising event, for the 16-year-old the achievement is just a small part of an incredible journey she has been on.
When she was 12, she was diagnosed with a rare spinal condition called Adolescent Idiopathic Scoliosis which causes a curvature of the spine.
It affects one in 2,000 children - both girls and boys - and most commonly develops during a youngster’s teenage years.
Interestingly, three other girls in Sophie’s school year were also diagnosed with the condition.
The curved spine can cause breathing difficulties because ribs are compressed and become painful.
Serious back surgery - which involves attaching metal rods to the spine to straighten it - is required when the curve reaches beyond 40 degrees.
For Sophie, a former pupil of Ely City College, hers reached 48.8 degrees when she underwent surgery at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
Her mum, Marie, said: “Sophie bounced back quickly and was back on her feet within two days.
“The care she received from the hospital’s scoliosis team was incredible and she was home within four days.”
She added: “Then, for the next year, she had a very strict recovery plan with a lot of physical restrictions to allow her spine to fully recover.
“For a very active teenager like Sophie, who had been a member of the Ely Artistic Roller Skating Club, it was really hard. It also had an impact on her mental health.”
After the surgery, Sophie’s passion for roller skating faded.
Despite the risks of having the metal rods in her back, she surprisingly took to ice skating instead.
In August last year, she took part in the official opening ceremony for the new Cambridge Ice Arena where she trained 3-4 times a week before the coronavirus lockdown measures were introduced.
Marie said: “Since trying out the ice skating, Sophie hasn’t looked back.
“She’s fearless on the ice despite everything she has been through. If she falls, she picks herself back up again and keeps going until she gets it right.”
The 28 mile fundraiser since Sophie had her operation and she used specialist skates which in their appearance look similar to inline skates.
Donations were mainly collected online and through a collection St.Peters Garage, the family business in Ely.
“Sophie thanks everyone who donated,” Marie added.
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Ely Standard. Click the link in the orange box above for details.