Woman Defied Expectations Of Doctors Saying She Would Be Wheelchair Bound And Became A Personal Trainer!


Vanessa Buckley (39) was 16-years-old when doctors told her she would be wheelchair bound by the time she was 21 due to her progressive scoliosis. But according to the Dailymail's article, she is now a personal trainer who runs a staggering 73 classes a week.

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Vanessa Buckley, 39 (pictured) was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was 12 years old.

When she was 16-years-old, doctors told her she would be wheelchair bound by the time she was 21.

They went on to say she would never have kids, and her only option to fix her debilitating scoliosis - or curvature of the spine - was invasive back surgery.

But the Brisbane resident defied doctors’ orders, first refusing surgery before going on to become a mother of three boys and successful personal trainer.

‘I didn’t have any pain, I didn’t have any symptoms,’ Vanessa says about her scoliosis.

‘I felt like surgery was a really extreme thing to do for someone not in pain.’

Doctors first noticed Ms. Buckley’s had a slight curve in her back when she was 12-years-old.

They told her to come back in six months time, and by then her spine had gone from ‘bad to really bad.’

The scoliosis was triggered because Ms. Buckley grew too fast, despite her only being 4ft 9in (150cm tall).

For the next four years she wore a back brace for 23 hours a day, only taking it off to have a shower or to swim.

‘The brace was made of hard plastic, so it was really hard to eat,’ she said.‘If you ate anything too big your stomach would swell and become really uncomfortable.'

‘At school it was really quite difficult, I couldn’t really join in sport, I tried, but I couldn’t.’

But while the brace was supposed to prevent her scoliosis from progressing, her spine became increasingly worse.

What is scoliosis?

Scoliosis is an abnormal sideways curve of the spine. The cause is usually unknown. Surgery is recommended in severe cases. There is no evidence to suggest that scoliosis can be successfully managed with exercise, physiotherapy, or chiropractic treatment.

When she was 16 doctors said her only option was surgery to place metal bars down the side of her spine. She refused, and instead started to swim regularly to maintain her strength.

‘At 18 I would stop growing, and I knew it wouldn’t get any worse,’ she said.

Her eldest son Jett, 14 (pictured) has Cerebral Palsy and is unable to walk or talk, but cognitively, he is fine.

This is her son Kalan, 11.

At 23 she had her first son, Jett, who was born with Cerebral Palsy after his brain was deprived of oxygen during labor.

‘When that happened I forgot about myself, I really focused on him and his therapies,’ Ms. Buckley said.

Jett, who is now 14, cannot walk or talk and requires round-the-clock care.

Ms. Buckley, who is a single mother, has the assistance of a live-in nanny and carer nine hours a week. However, she can still manage her work schedule.

After having her kids she developed bad eating habits and didn't look after herself.

Ms. Buckley soon realized while she could not control what happened to her son Jett, she would take control of her own health and fitness.

She did a challenge at the gym and lost 22 lbs in 10 weeks!

‘I did mostly weight training and changed my diet, I eat nothing processed it’s all clean eating.’ she said.

Over the next 18 months, she turned her slender frame into muscle and became so passionate about fitness she decided to become a personal trainer.

Today she runs 73 fitness session a week.

She said one side of her back is stronger than the other due to the curve in her spine but she is able to train to suit her body.

She encourages her clients, and others, to pick one thing each day they are grateful for.

‘I'm grateful my son can smile at me, other kids with cerebral palsy can’t even smile.’

‘Believe in yourself, never give up and trust your own instinct.’

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