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hello everyone! My name is Savannah, and I live in north Jersey. My story begins directly at conception. My mother noticed that I would sleep like a frog (hips open, knees bent, torso tucked between legs) under her rib cage while pregnant with me. I still sleep this way 20+ years later. When I began walking, I was pigeon toed. Pediatric orthopedist insisted I would grow out of it... I didn’t. When I was 8yrs old, my grandmother (a retired nurse) noticed my uneven shoulders and curvature. I was soon diagnosed with Scoliosis. It was very minor at the time and again, orthopedist insisted I would be fine. When I was 15 I started experiencing back pain. From there they discovered my scoliosis had progressed to 25 degrees. Since I was no longer growing, bracing was not an option. My pain became chronic shortly after graduating high school. The beginning of my second year in college, my grades plummeted and i was forced to quit my job. My scoliosis has reached a 45 degree curve. I had “non typical scoliosis,” where the spine has a single curve, rather than the normal double or S curve. My orthopedist did nothing for me. My aunt (who is a head nurse at RWJ) gave me the info for one of the top orthopedist she’d ever worked with. After my first appointment with him, I finally had a spinal fusion scheduled. The day of my surgery (4/10/18) he told me he planned on fusing five vertebrae, but wanted to open my entire back to look for anything we couldn’t see in my scans. I am forever grateful for him and his decision. After fusing my lumbar spine, they discovered I had severe kyphosis at 78 degrees. I woke up with another seven vertebrae fused than planned. All together I had 12 vertebrae fused and grew an inch and a half. The road to recovery has been excruciating, but it’s only the beginning. With pain comes strength.