On Tuesday, Princess Eugenie visited the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in north-west London to see their new state-of-the-art Prosthetic Rehabilitation Unit for the first time.
The Princess, who is a former patient of RNOH as well as the Charity’s Patron, said: ‘I am delighted to be here today to once again see the life-changing work taking place at the hospital. This is a charity which is very close to my heart. After everything I went through as a child with scoliosis, I know from my own experience how debilitating an orthopaedic condition can be.
‘It has been inspirational to meet those here today who have benefitted from the expertise of the hospital’s staff and services and hear first-hand how truly life-changing this has been for them, as it was for me when I was a child,’ said the 32-year-old. ‘The RNOH Charity is integral to what the hospital achieves in delivering such stellar care for so many people.’
The visit also coincided with the RNOH Charity’s launch of its ‘Impossible, Possible’ campaign designed to help people who face complex orthopaedic conditions make the impossible, possible.
Eugenie saw the the new facilities, which include the provision, maintenance, and repair of artificial limbs together with a rehabilitation service, provided by a multidisciplinary team. Patients include young children to veterans.
During the visit, Eugenie met a number of patients who are being treated at the hospital including two-year-old Posie-Aurora Sadler-Smith from Suffolk, who suffers from a rare disorder, fibular hemimelia, which meant her bones in her lower limbs did not develop properly.
The family first met with the team at the hospital when Posie’s mother was pregnant. Posie-Aurora was treated at the hospital from the age of six months old.
The Princess, who is expecting her second child this Spring, heard how the money raised through the fundraising of the new campaign will also fund specific items such as state-of-the art imaging equipment, transforming the spinal cord injury centre’s day room and, further pioneering orthopaedic research and ground-breaking developments.
Our patron HRH Princess Eugenie met patients who’ve been supported by @rnohnhs Prosthetic Rehabilitation Unity yesterday. It coincides with our new ‘Impossible Possible’ campaign for people who face complex orthopaedic conditions: https://t.co/2aAnwwpbRS pic.twitter.com/k6MuaMA1hy
— The RNOH Charity (@thernohcharity) March 1, 2023
Princess Eugenie was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 12 years old and underwent corrective surgery. The surgery took eight hours, where her surgeons inserted eight-inch titanium rods into each side of her spine and one-and-a-half inch screws at the top of the neck.
Previously speaking about the care she received by the hospital, Eugenie said: ‘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.
Today we welcomed HRH Princess Eugenie to @rnohnhs Prosthetic Rehab Unit. She met staff & several patients, incl 2yr Posie. The visit launched the new @thernohcharity campaign to make the ‘Impossible Possible’: https://t.co/2WCpKw6b0I pic.twitter.com/zAl8FjnLby
— RNOH NHS Trust (@RNOHnhs) February 28, 2023
‘My back problems were a huge part of my life, as they would be for any 12-year-old. Children can look at me now and know that the operation works. I’m living proof of the ways in which the hospital can change people’s lives.’
On her wedding day, we saw Princess Eugenie’s wedding dress feature a low-back gown that was specifically designed to show her scoliosis scars. Eugenie opted for this to help tackle the taboos around scoliosis, as she believes ‘scars tell a story about your past and your future’.