Brave schoolboy who begged Sturgeon for life-saving operation set for emergency surgery

Little Harvey Martin faces another major surgery on his spine
-Credit: (Image: Daily Record)

The brave boy who had to appeal to former first minister Nicola Sturgeon to get a lifesaving operation is set to undergo urgent surgery this week.

Harvey Martin, 11, had been stuck on a waiting list for surgery to straighten his spine, which was crushing his organs and causing excruciating pain.

But the day after the Daily Record carried a story of his video appeal, -Sturgeon assured Harvey, from Wemyss Bay, Renfrewshire, a date for his operation was on the way.

By the time he was -operated on last year, his fourth and fifth ribs were 2mm from touching his spinal cord, which would have led to -paralysis.

Harvey suffers from neurofibromatosis, a genetic condition which causes growths on the nervous system. The growths caused scoliosis on his spine and the curve progressively got worse.

He recovered from the operation but because of his lack of bone density, the hooks holding the steel rod in his back have come away and need reattached.

Harvey has also developed a kyphosis – a rounding of the upper back – and another curve at the base of his spine, which also need to be addressed.

The lengthy operation will mean some of his ribs being cut away and he will have to wear a cervical collar as he recovers. The surgery also carries a risk that he will develop osteoporosis – a condition which causes bones to become weak and brittle.

Mum Natalie said: “The NHS don’t realise the impact waits have on the whole family and with only two
surgeons now instead of three, some people will wait much longer now.”

The primary six pupil will have his operation tomorrow at the new Royal Hospital for Children and Young People in Edinburgh but he has told his mum and dad he is “quite nervous” this time.

Harvey after his first major surgery last year
Harvey after his first major surgery last year

Natalie said: “We have told him he will smash it. But he really needs to get it done urgently otherwise he will continue to deteriorate.”

This summer, the family will have to forego their annual holiday to concentrate on getting Harvey back on his feet to begin his last year at primary in August.

Natalie said: “We are just hoping everything goes well and he won’t need any more surgeries for a long time afterwards."

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