- Vanessa Buckley, 39, was diagnosed with scoliosis at 12 years old
- She wore a back brace for four years, but her condition got worse
- Doctors said she would be wheelchair bound and unable to have children
- She refused surgery and defied expectations, going on to have three kids
- She is now a personal trainer who runs a staggering 73 classes a weekWhen Vanessa Buckley was 16 years old, doctors told her she would be wheelchair bound by the time she was 21.They went on to say she would never have kids, and her only option to fix her debilitating scoliosis - or curvature of the spine - was invasive back surgery.But the Brisbane resident defied doctors’ orders, first refusing surgery before going on to become a mother of three boys and successful personal trainer.
Inspiratonal: Vanessa Buckley, 39 was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 12 years old and is now a successful personal trainer
Complex condition: An x-ray of her spine shows it is curved
‘I didn’t have any pain, I didn’t have any symptoms,’ Ms Buckley, 39, told Daily Mail Australia of her scoliosis.
‘I felt like surgery was a really extreme thing to do for someone not in pain.’
Doctors first noticed Ms Buckley’s had a slight curve in her back when she was 12 years old.Body transformation: Ms Barkley gained weight after having three children (left) but went on to lose 10 kilos before finding a passion for fitness and becoming a trainer
Training hard: As a teen doctors said her only option was surgery. She refused, and while one side of her back is stronger than the other (pictured) she is fit and strong
WHAT IS SCOLIOSIS?
They told her to come back in six months time, and by then her spine had gone from ‘bad to really bad’.
The scoliosis was triggered because Ms Buckley grew too fast, despite her only being 150cm tall (4ft 9).
For the next four years she wore a back brace for 23 hours a day, only taking it off to have a shower or to swim.
‘The brace was made of hard plastic, so it was really hard to eat,’ she said.Difficult years: From the age of 12 she wore a back brace for four years that had to be kept on for 23 hours of the day
‘If you ate anything too big your stomach would swell and become really uncomfortable.
‘At school it was really quite difficult, I couldn’t really join in sport, I tried, but I couldn’t.’
But while the brace was supposed to prevent her scoliosis from progressing, her spine became increasingly worse.
Failed attempt: The brace meant she was unable to eat big meals and take part in school sport, and while it was supposed to stop her back from getting worse, and scoliosis progressed
Fit mum: The Brisbane mother of three boys (she is pictured with her son Chase, seven) is now a successful personal trainer
When she was 16 doctors said her only option was surgery to place metal bars down the side of her spine.
She refused, and instead started to swim regularly to maintain her strength.‘At 18 I would stop growing, and I knew it wouldn’t get any worse,’ she said.
Famiy love: Her eldest son Jett, 14 (pictured) has cerebral palsy and is unable to walk or talk, but cognitively, he is fine
Bad habits: After having her kids she developed bad eating habits and didn't look after herself. Pictured is her son Kalan, 11
At 23 she had her first son, Jett, who was born with Cerebral Palsy after his brain was deprived of oxygen during labour.
‘When that happened I forgot about myself, I really focused on him and his therapies,’ Ms Buckley said.
‘I got in to bad eating habits and didn’t look after myself at all.’
She went on to have two more boys – Kalan, 11 and Chase, seven.
Taking control: She realised while she could not control what happened to her son Jett, she would take control of her own health and fitness
Jett, who is now 14, cannot walk or talk and requires round-the-clock care.Cognitively he is okay and is able to go to school.
Ms Buckley, who is a single mother, has the assistance of a live-in nanny and carer nine hours a week, and said she is able to manage her work schedule so she is there for the morning and afternoon school runs.
Ms Buckley said while she had no control over what happened to her son Jett, her own health and wellness was something she could control.
Growing passion: She lost 10 kilos in 10 weeks at the gym, and went on to develop a passion for fitness
Fit and strong: She now runs her own personal training business and online program and holds 72 classes a week
‘In 10 weeks I lost 10 kilos, I did a challenge at the gym,’ she said.
‘I did mostly weight training and changed my diet, I eat nothing processed it’s all clean eating.’
Over the next 18 months she turned her slender frame in to muscle, and became so passionate about fitness she decided to become a personal trainer.
Today she runs 72 fitness session a week.
Tailoring her training: ‘Today I’m still doing extra exercises to try and build up the weaker side of my back,’ she said
Not holding back: She said one side of her back is stronger than the other due to the curve in her spine but she is able to train to suit her body
‘Today I’m still doing extra exercises to try and build up the weaker side of my back,’ she said.
‘You compensate for one side of your body. My left side is not as built up as my right, and it’s a lot weaker.’
Through sharing her story she has been contacted my other scoliosis sufferers who ask her for advice.
In six weeks’ time, she plans to release an online training program for people with the condition.
Staying positive: ‘I'm grateful my son can smile at me, other kids with cerebral palsy can’t even smile,’ she said
‘Believe in yourself, never give up and trust your own instinct,’ she said.She encouraged her clients, and others, to pick on thing each day they are grateful for.
‘I'm grateful my son can smile at me, other kids with cerebral palsy can’t even smile,’ she said.
‘That’s what I’m going to be grateful or today.’Source : Daily Mail , 26th Oct 2016