A teenager with brittle bone disease is free from suffering painful fractures after cutting-edge treatment in Sheffield.
Holly Girven, aged 17, was diagnosed with osteogenesis imperfecta, an inherited form of brittle bone disease, after she was born with a fractured arm and two breaks in her left leg.
Youngsters with the condition typically experience hundreds of broken bones, and during her early years Holly suffered multiple fractures.
However, medics at Sheffield Children’s Hospital were able to offer her an infusion of drugs to strengthen her bones, which meant she has not suffered a fracture in 10 years.
The teenager was one of the first children to have the treatment at the age of two.
Holly said: “It has made a huge difference to my life, as thanks to the treatment I’ve received, I’m independent and I do all the things my friends do.
“I feel grateful that I was one of the first people to have this treatment.”
She hopes to study law at university, is a keen swimmer and drives to school using a lightweight wheelchair.
Holly’s mum Lynne, 47, said: “Fortunately, Holly responded well to the treatment from the start.
“She had been very cautious in her movement, as the condition causes pain, but the difference was incredible. Holly was waking up in the morning feeling great.”
Progress has been so successful that Holly, who lives near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, no longer needs the injections.
In future, she will receive treatment from the adult service at Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital in Fir Vale.
Nick Bishop, Europe’s only professor of paediatric bone disease, who treated Holly, said he and his team would miss her.
He said: “We hope new treatments now being studied in adults with osteoporosis will become available soon for children with brittle bones, and all children with this condition will benefit from specialist team input in the future.”