The doctor who performed incredible surgery on Princess Eugenie to correct her spine has received an invite to the royal wedding. Mother-of-the-bride Sarah Ferguson revealed that NHS surgeon Jan Lehovsky and his team will attend next Friday's ceremony, "in honour of the fact that [Eugenie] is walking up that aisle with a straight back because of them".
Speaking to the Evening Standard, the Duchess of York said: "She did have what would have been very serious curvature of the spine. The wedding is about love, future and inclusivity... What a huge, huge day for health, for the NHS, for the RNOH, and for hope. This is why this wedding is so beautiful – it's hope for other children suffering from scoliosis."
Eugenie has previously opened up about her scoliosis and having corrective surgery at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital aged 12. Two metal rods were inserted along her spine and two 1.5 inch screws were fixed to her neck during the eight-hour procedure. The young Princess spent three days in intensive care, followed by a week on a ward and six days in a wheelchair before she was able to walk again.
MORE: Prince Harry and Meghan's 10-strong tour entourage revealed
Eugenie has invited her spine doctor Jan Lehovsky to her wedding
Now patron of the RNOH's redevelopment appeal, Eugenie has said: "I'm living proof of the ways in which the hospital can change people's lives." In June, the bride-to-be shared her personal X-rays as part of International Scoliosis Awareness Day. The scans showed the pins and rods that had been put around her spine.
She wrote on Instagram: "Today is International Scoliosis Awareness Day and I'm very proud to share my X Rays for the very first time. I also want to honour the incredible staff at The Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital who work tirelessly to save lives and make people better. They made me better and I am delighted to be their patron of the Redevelopment Appeal."
Two metal rods were inserted along her spine to cure her scoliosis
MORE: Eamonn Holmes shares rare photo with his mum
Eugenie, 28, has also previously paid tribute to her older sister Princess Beatrice. During a youth empowerment event WE Day UK, she said: "When I was 12 I was diagnosed with, and treated for, scoliosis and I have lived with two 12 inch metal rods in my back. It could have impacted my life and stopped me from doing the things I love. You encouraged me not to get disheartened. Not to give up. To live fearlessly. Today, I am so lucky to get to work with and support other young women who are going through the same thing. To encourage them to not let their diagnosis win. To live fearlessly too."
Like this story? Sign up to our newsletter to get other stories like this delivered straight to your inbox.