Princess Eugenie of York, the cousin of Princes William and Harry, posted X-rays from her scoliosis surgery on her Instagram Saturday in honor of International Scoliosis Awareness Day. Princess Eugenie, 28, has been very open about her childhood battle with scoliosis (a condition in which the spine curves abnormally), according to Harper’s Bazaar. She was diagnosed with the condition at just 12-years-old and was told she’d need to have surgery to correct the curvature.
According to People, Princess Eugenie had 8-inch rods placed in her spine and 1.5-inch screws inserted into the base of her neck during her eight-hour surgery at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. Though the surgery was lengthy and invasive, she was able to walk just a few weeks after the surgery.
After honoring the team at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital who performed the surgery and helped her recover, Princess Eugenie shared that she was happy to be a “patron of the Redevelopment Appeal,” an initiative that is working to fund and build new hospital spaces and equipment for the hospital, which is currently situated in buildings that are at least 100-years-old. According to their website, construction of new inpatient facilities started in 2016 and is set for completion this fall.
Princess Eugenie also shared a video from the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital website, which features herself and her father, Prince Andrew, Duke of York, discussing the days leading up to her surgery and where she is at now.
“I’m living proof that all these young people who have the same thing I have, maybe more so, or not, I have done it, I’ve been through it, and I want to be able to help as much as I can,” Princess Eugenie says.
In addition to her patronage, Princess Eugenie will also be involved in the development of the Princess Eugenie House, a facility for parents to stay in while their children are treated at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.
In the United States alone, there are an estimated 7 million people (mostly children) affected by scoliosis, per the National Scoliosis Foundation. Even though scoliosis can affect anyone no matter the age, most are diagnosed in adolescence. Females are more likely to suffer from scoliosis, and often a family history of this condition can determine one’s likelihood of being diagnosed. Symptoms can be mitigated but there is no known cure for scoliosis.