Young singer determined to defy scoliosis

Tamra CarrGeraldton Guardian
Despite being diagnosed with scoliosis, young singer Jazmyn Allen hopes to continue doing the things she loves.
Camera IconDespite being diagnosed with scoliosis, young singer Jazmyn Allen hopes to continue doing the things she loves. Credit: The Geraldton Guardian, Tamra Carr

Geraldton man John Allen said he would always chastise his daughter for slouching at the dinner table and demanded she sit up straight.

Mr Allen said he felt guilty when his daughter, Jazmyn, was later diagnosed with scoliosis.

The deformity involves a sideways curvature of the spine, largely occurring during a prepubescent growth spurt.

To keep the kink in her back from worsening, Jazmyn, 12, was recently fitted with a full body brace.

She said children at school had been a little confused about the new rigid, box-like shape of her body.

“I have to wear it 22 hours a day,” Jazmyn said. “I can take it off for swimming and a shower, and that’s about it. I had some kids ask me if I put books in my back.”

Speaking about her condition for Scoliosis Awareness Month, Jazmyn said she was diagnosed with a 32-degree curvature of the spine in December.

Last month, specialists fitted her with the posture-correcting brace that begins at her armpits and extends to her hips.

Jazmyn said the support device limited her participation in physical activity and made breathing difficult.

Her dad has to tie her shoes and put her socks on when she forgets, but Jazmyn said she put up with the brace to prevent further medical intervention.

“The brace is there to prevent any further damage,” she said.

“If it doesn’t work, I’ll have to get metal rods inserted in my back.”

Hanging onto a slim chance, her father, hopes the brace may even correct her scoliosis.

He wants his daughter to continue to enjoy her extracurricular activities, including the air force cadets, swim club, piano playing, theatre and singing.

“Especially singing — she loves her singing,” Mr Allen said.

“She busks down in Perth and sometimes on Marine Terrace.

“She would love to sing more with groups and at events in Geraldton.”

Jazmyn regularly sings for cruise ship visitors at Geraldton Port.

She plans to sing when the next ship arrives on October 23.

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