Princess Eugenie shares scoliosis X-rays from life-changing childhood surgery for the first time
Fox411: Just one month after Prince Harry and Meghan Markle revealed their engagement, Princess Eugenie has announced she too will soon be walking down the aisle.
It has been nearly two decades since Princess Eugenie was diagnosed with scoliosis, and it's something the royal will carry with her for the rest of her life.
On International Scoliosis Awareness Day, Eugenie, 28, gave fans a glimpse into the painful condition, which causes a person's spine to curve, and the surgery that followed when she was just 12 years old.
"[I was] told that I would need corrective surgery. This was, of course, a scary prospect for a 12-year-old; I can still vividly remember how nervous I felt in the days and weeks before the operation," Eugenie said in a statement to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (RNOH).
During an 8-hour operation, doctors at RNOH inserted 8-inch titanium rods into the sides of her spine and 1½-inch screws at the base of her neck. For days after the surgery, Eugenie had to use a wheelchair to get around. But eventually, the princess — daughter of Prince Andrew and his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson — got back on her feet.
Today is International Scoliosis Awareness Day and I’m very proud to share my X Rays for the very first time. I also want to honour the incredible staff at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital who work tirelessly to save lives and make people better. They made me better and I am delighted to be their patron of the Redevelopment Appeal. To hear more of my story visit http://www.rnohcharity.org/the-appeal/princess-eugenie-s-story @the.rnoh.charity #TheRNOHCharity #RedevelopmentAppeal #RNOH #NHS
A post shared by Princess Eugenie (@princesseugenie) on Jun 30, 2018 at 8:53am PDT
To show her appreciation for hospital staff as well as raise awareness for the incurable medical condition, Eugenie took to Instagram Saturday to reveal X-rays from the surgery.
"I’m very proud to share my X Rays for the very first time," Eugenie wrote in a caption. "I also want to honour the incredible staff at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital who work tirelessly to save lives and make people better."
The photos received nearly 25,000 likes as of Monday afternoon. Thousands of people, inspired by the royal's openness, thanked Eugenie and shared stories of their own.
"Amazing and thank you for sharing. My daughter (now 16) had similar operation March 2017 after having to wear a back brace for two years. She is 2” taller (now 5ft 6”). She has made a full recovery. Has just completed her GCSE’s and in her words felt like a 'Princess' at her Prom last week. Thanks to all the amazing team at Alder Children’s Hospital," one mother wrote.
"Thank you for sharing, Princess Eugenia. I have scoliosis too and had ten vertebrae fused when I was 14 in 1974 in Los Angeles. Bone fragments fused the correction maintained in a body cast for 15 months! No problems since, two healthy pregnancies, too! Thank goodness for modern science!" another user shared.
"A very brave thing to do with something so personal and private. Well Done x," a fan added.
Eugenie has been working with the RNOH for years, visiting patients and spreading her health story. The princess recently pledged her support for the hospital's redevelopment plan, adding that she would be giving her name to a new state-of-the-art facility, which will be called the "Princess Eugenie House."
"Without the care I received at the RNOH I wouldn't look the way I do now; my back would be hunched over. And I wouldn't be able to talk about scoliosis the way I now do, and help other children who come to me with the same problem," Eugenie explained. "I’m living proof of the ways in which the hospital can change people’s lives."
Eugenie will have a busy few months ahead, juggling her work with the RNOH on top of preparing for her upcoming wedding.
Buckingham Palace announced in January Eugenie will marry Jack Brooksbank in the fall. He proposed with a padparadscha sapphire ring surrounded by diamonds.
A post shared by The Royal Family (@theroyalfamily) on Jan 22, 2018 at 5:53am PST
Fox News' Stephanie Nolasco contributed to this report.
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