Teenager edges closer to life-changing operation

Louis Churchill presents Lucy Huddleston with �5000 from Northumberland Freemasons. Picture by 'ane Coltman
Louis Churchill presents Lucy Huddleston with �5000 from Northumberland Freemasons. Picture by 'ane Coltman

A teenager facing life-changing surgery has been given a major boost by the Freemasons.

Family and friends of Lucy Huddleston have been raising funds for the 15-year-old to undergo surgery to straighten her spine as she suffers from adolescent idiopathic scoliosis.

An initial target of £160,000 was set for Lucy to undergo pioneering surgery in America after her operation in London was cancelled.

But now her family have found a hospital in Germany willing to do the surgery on August 9, and now only need to raise £60,000 – with nearly £40,000 raised so far.

And they have been boosted by the Northumberland Freemasons who have donated £5,000 after the family were nominated by friend and neighbour Lou Churchill, a member of the Freemasons.

Lucy’s father Mark said: “We have been in touch with a surgeon in Germany and in fact we have travelled across to see him for a consultation.

“We liked him and the hospital and he was happy to accept Lucy as a candidate for the life-changing operation.”

“We have been completely overwhelmed at the support we have received so far.

“We were thrilled when we found out the Freemasons had pledged to support us and we are ever so grateful, especially as we have not family connections to the Freemasons.”

Lou said: “As Freemasons, giving to deserving causes and charities plays a vital role in our organisation.

“Freemasonry in the community is pivotal in our efforts to let everyone know what we do and what we are about.

“Therefore I had no hesitation in recommending Lucy’s case to the Freemasons of Northumberland for consideration, and was delighted with the generous donation given to the appeal.

“On behalf of all Freemasons, I wish Lucy and her family a successful outcome from her surgery and our best wishes for the future.”

Future fund-raising events include a Lip Sync Battle at Netherton Club on Saturday, May 27, and a Charity Night at The Boiler Shop, Newcastle, on Thursday, October 12. For more visit the Lucy’s Spinal Surgery Facebook page.

Mark added: “We are thrilled at this development in Germany because we feel that Lucy’s scoliosis has become worse over the past few months.

“We have been lucky that she has been relatively pain free but only last week has she started to complain of some shoulder and lower back pain.

“She starts to sit her GCSEs very soon so hopefully after August she can concentrate on her recovery and look to the future without worrying about her scoliosis.

To support the appeal, visit www.gofundme.com/lucys-life-changing-spinal-surgery