A young woman with a rare genetic condition who is in dispute with the Department for Work and Pensions over her benefits is considering whether to go ahead with a high risk spinal operation which could leave her paralysed.
Pearl Kelly, 22, suffers from neurofibromatosis which causes tumours to grow along her nerves.
When she was eight doctors fused her spine to help fight the rare genetic disease. The operation was a success, but stopped her from growing past four feet tall.
Pearl, who cannot work, has contested a recent decision by the DWP to stop her personal independence payment (PIP) – a benefit awarded to people to help with the added costs of disability. Pearl, from Orrel Park, says that she needs the money.
Now Pearl has been told that she needs to decide on whether to go ahead with a major operation which could save her from becoming wheelchair bound within a few years. But Pearl said that the operation carries a high degree of risk.
She said: “My spine is crumbling and my consultant is concerned that I could be wheelchair bound in a few years time. I have been told to consider a major operation which would use a bone from leg to reinforce my back. There is also a piece of metal from a previous operation which needs replacing.