Community responds to help out

Headshot of Jackson Barrett
Jackson BarrettSouth Western Times
Joel Spencer and his family are set to travel to Adelaide for important spinal surgery.
Camera IconJoel Spencer and his family are set to travel to Adelaide for important spinal surgery. Credit: Supplied.

Joel Spencer lives with scoliosis as well as a rare connective tissue disorder called Marfan syndrome, and every day he endures constant and unrelenting pain from his back, right down his legs and into his feet.

Now, after a shocking recent diagnosis, the 16-year old Collie boy, pictured, requires surgery to avoid losing mobility in his back.

Joel’s mum Jodie reached out to the people of Collie for help to raise money for what could be life-changing surgery for her son, and received a response quicker and greater than she could have possibly imagined.

A GoFundMe page set up in Joel’s name has received more than $4000 from 43 different donors, in the space of just five days.

The Spencer family will travel to Adelaide for the surgery on October 15, a task made even more difficult with restrictions placed on both States.

“The local GP had never heard of this, so I pretty much walked out and started doing my own research,” Mrs Spencer said.

Chasing answers, Ms Spencer discovered that two doctors, one in Germany and one in Turkey were experts in a procedure called Vertebral Body Tethering.

“I messaged this doctor in Turkey and also the one in Germany and after 15 minutes I got an answer back from them with their suggestions,” she said.

“Someone else had told me about this doctor in Adelaide so I got in touch with him.”

The VTB surgery works like braces to allow growth on one side but not the other, correcting the curve in Joel’s back.

The GoFundMe page can be found at .

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