Brit girl living on the Costa Blanca slowly recovers after life-changing operation

RECOVERING WELL: Millie, already back on her feet and taking short strolls with Dr Juan Carlos Olaverri in Barcelona. CREDIT: Emma Grundy

THE life-changing back operation performed by a top Barcelona surgeon to correct the extreme curvature of 13-year-old Millie Grundy’s spine has been a huge success.

The €50,000-procedure was carried out in Barcelona on February 4 by Dr Juan Carlos Olaverri, one of only 20 surgeons in the world who performs VBT (Vertical Body Tethering) and ASC (Anterior Scoliosis Correction).

Millie’s parents, Emma and Steve, are delighted with the result and Millie is recovering well.

“It’s a slow progress,” Emma told EWN, “but Millie’s getting there. She’s taking short strolls every day and practises her breathing exercises. Her lungs aren’t as strong because the surgeon had to deflate the right one to carry out the operation.”

Millie was diagnosed with severe scoliosis in 2015 and despite wearing a back brace to sleep for three years, specialists informed the family that surgery remained the only option.

Wanting the best for their highly active and sporty daughter, Millie’s parents rejected the public healthcare’s Harrington procedure, which involves metal rod fusion. “We know this procedure works, but Millie would have very limited flexibility and minimal quality of life. She wouldn’t be able to dance or do gymnastics again,” explained Emma.

With the VBT procedure, a flexible cord was incorporated into Millie’s side, which will allow the spine to straighten more as she grows.

While support from Costa Blanca residents and businesses has been immense, the couple still need to raise a lot of money to pay for the treatment.

The next fundraising event for Millie is a charity Dinner, Auction and Dance, taking place at Laurel’s Restaurant in Quesada from 7.30pm on Saturday March 2.

Tickets are €20 per person and include a three-course meal.

For more information, call 965 077 444 or email

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