A Dundee schoolboy who has undergone 15 operations to his spine — including life-saving surgery when he was only five — is set to jet off on the holiday of a lifetime.
Nathan Korol, 12, from Kirkton, was born with scoliosis, also known as curvature of the spine.
He has endured dozens of hospital visits but is now looking forward to heading off to Disney World in Florida after a charity chose him to take part in the trip.
Mum Nikki Kyles, 29, said that most of Nathan’s formative years had been affected by his condition.
She said: “It’s very rare to be born with this condition — people usually develop it as they reach their teenage years.
“However, Nathan was diagnosed when he was born and as a result he didn’t have a normal childhood.
“By the time he was five he had developed three curvatures of his spine.”
The condition could have paralysed Nathan or even killed him through a crushed lung because of the level of the curvature.
Nikki said: “He had his first operation in September 2011 and he has gone on to have a 15 spinal operations. These included having titanium rods inserted in his spine.
“His entire childhood has been affected and he hasn’t been able to take part in normal activities such as playing football, jumping or climbing.
“He wasn’t even allowed out at playtimes or lunchtimes at school because it would have been too dangerous for him in the playground.”
Nathan’s most recent operation was in January, when it was decided that all of the metalwork could be removed from his back.
Nikki added: “Fortunately, everything has been positive and is going in the right direction.”
Through nurses at the Sick Kids’ Hospital in Edinburgh, the youngster’s name was put forward for the trip to the US, which starts on Saturday.
Nikki said: “It’s being organised through the Dreamflight charity and Nathan was lucky to be one of 16 from the east of Scotland chosen to go. He is so excited and can’t wait.”
To help thank the staff for everything they’ve done for Nathan, his grandad Nick Korol and some friends have undertaken not to shave for a year to raise funds for research into the condition.
Nick, 55, will be holding a fundraiser in City Square on Saturday where he’ll be playing his accordion, accompanied by others playing bagpipes and singing.
There will also be balloons and facepainting from noon.