Princess Eugenie's story

My time at the RNOH

In 2002, when I was 12 years old, I was diagnosed with scoliosis (curvature of the spine), and told that I would need corrective surgery. This was, of course, a scary prospect for a 12-year-old; I can still vividly remember how nervous I felt in the days and weeks before the operation. But my abiding memories of the RNOH, where the surgery was carried out, are happy ones - everyone there was so warm and friendly, and they went out of their way to make me feel comfortable and relaxed.

During my operation, which took eight hours, my surgeons inserted eight-inch titanium rods into each side of my spine and one-and-a-half inch screws at the top of my neck. After three days in intensive care, I spent a week on a ward and six days in a wheelchair, but I was walking again after that.

Princess Eugenie

Why I’m supporting the RNOH’s Redevelopment Appeal

During my recent visit to the hospital’s Stanmore site, where I was treated, I was reminded of how remarkable a place it is. I met a young cancer patient who had had a bone removed from his leg and replaced with a ‘bionic’ prosthesis which grows at the same rate as his leg. This amazing technology was invented by specialists at the RNOH in 2003 and is now used all over the world.

But I was also reminded of the rather run-down condition of the hospital. There is a very striking disparity between the quality of the RNOH’s service and the quality of the buildings from which its staff operate. Anyone who visits the Stanmore site can see immediately why a new hospital is needed so urgently.

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. 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.

It’s because of what the RNOH has done for me that I’m so enthusiastic about being Patron of its Redevelopment Appeal, and giving my name to its new state-of-the-art facility, Princess Eugenie House.

Find out more about Princess Eugenie House.