Megan Halvey-Ryan to run half-marathon after scoliosis surgery success

A Limerick teen who was left unable to walk for long periods due to her scoliosis is set to compete in a half-marathon.

Megan Halvey-Ryan to run half-marathon after scoliosis surgery success

Megan Halvey-Ryan, 14, underwent life-changing surgery earlier this year to correct her twisted spine, having waited more than two years for treatment.

The condition left the youngster having to take days off school, unable to walk for extended periods of time and living in excruciating pain.

But after her successful treatment at Crumlin Children’s Hospital in Dublin, she will take part in the Limerick Women’s Mini Marathon later this month alongside her proud mum Sharon.

The event takes place on Sunday, October 29, in the University of Limerick.

Megan is running to raise vital funds for Straight Ahead, a charity founded by her surgeon Pat Kiely, whereby medical professionals donate their free time to help children.

“Thankfully I have had my surgery, and now hope to raise awareness and funds for the condition,” Megan said on a web page she set up to raise money.

She will also donate to Ronald McDonald House, which provides accommodation, care and support for families of ill children being treated in Crumlin.

“They were very kind to my family while I was in hospital,” Megan added.

Almost €1,000 has been raised since the Villiers School student declared that she was going to complete the course.

Since she appeared on the RTÉ documentary Living on the List back in February, Megan has helped spark a national debate on waiting times for children in extreme pain.

Upon seeing the show, Health Minister Simon Harris admitted he felt “ashamed and heartbroken” at the delays.

Mr Harris immediately pledged swift changes so youngsters like Megan were not waiting for such long periods in pain.

Although Megan received her date following her appearance on national television, she faced another agonising wait as her surgery was put back for a further three weeks.

After more than two years, she finally had her operation in April, with her mother Sharon revealing she was walking again weeks after the event.

Prior to this, Megan had an 87 degree curve at the top of her spine, and an 80 degree curve at its base.

With her permission, images of this were shown on RTÉ’s The Late Late Show in February to raise awareness of the ongoing surgical waiting list delays.

In the St Joseph’s spinal ward at Crumlin Children’s Hospital, Megan underwent a full spinal fusion, with metal rods screwed into her spine.

The pair appeared on the Late Late for a second time at the start of September, where her mother Sharon said her daughter had her life back.

  • Donate to Megan at www.gofundme.com/4frx16g 

More in this section