A model who dreamed of making it big on the catwalk has told how she rebuilt her career after a rare illness left her ambitions in tatters.
Rebecca Buss was a fit and healthy young woman when she developed scoliosis, a condition which caused her spine to violently curve sideways.
It left the 22-year-old in near-constant pain and with the energy levels of a woman four times her age.
She was told major surgery – which would have left her with a large scar and seriously hampered any chance of resurrecting her modelling career – was the only hope of alleviating her pain.
Then she discovered a radical exercise programme called ScolioGold method which, she says, has given her back the freedom to pursue her dreams.
Rebecca said: “I actually feel really overwhelmed. The support I got from the clinic was amazing.
“I no longer felt like I had been brushed off by so many different people.
“I don’t think people always take you seriously when you say you want to model – they just think just another young girl desperate to make it in such a competitive world.”
Rebecca, of City Gardens, St Helens, had always been fit and active but after developing the spinal deformity she could barely walk and often spent her time curled up in bed.
Scoliosis, which affects around four per cent of the population - causes the spine to excessively curve sideways.
If left untreated it can lead to fatal heart and lung problems. Current surgery involves inserting metal rods on either side of the spine, before the spine is fused solid.
Rebecca’s treatment at the ScolioGold clinic took four weeks and within weeks of completing the course her condition dramatically improved to the point where she is now ready to re-launch her modelling career.
She learnt a set of exercises which strengthened the muscles surrounding her spine and meant that her scoliosis stabilised.
She said: “It was not just my appearance I needed to correct; I wanted to get rid of my pain. The pain kept me awake at night and unless I took painkillers I could not function.”