A LITTLE girl needs thousands of pounds of corrective surgery to mend a spinal condition that could prove fatal if left untreated.

Gulshat Kadyrova was born without hip sockets and came with her mother from poverty-striken Turkmenistan in January 2006 for a hip operation at Oxford’s Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre.

Thanks to generous Oxford Mail readers, £15,000 was raised to pay for it, but doctors soon discovered she had scoliosis – a curvature of the spine – which could crush her organs if it is not corrected.

The nine-year-old, who is known as Lily, is forced to wear braces around-the-clock to stop her spine moving, but doctors say within two years she will need an operation, which could cost £35,000, to permanently correct her condition.

Gulshat and her mother first came to Oxford in 2006 for treatment at the Nuffield. A specialist diagnosed that she had curvature of the spine and recommended immediate corrective treatment.

The medical treatment is not available on the NHS and has been funded by private donations from around the world.

Because Gulshat’s mother Bahar Kadyrova is unable to work in the UK and they have to return to Turkmenistan every six months for visa requirements, the operation is not available on the NHS.

Family friend Jennie de Vries, organiser of the Gulshat Fund which was set up three years ago, said: “Her spine is like an S shape but it also twists like a corkscrew.

“If we don’t have enough money for the operation she will have to go home because the visa only lets her stay until the operation.

“She would have to stop wearing the brace because there would be no one to adjust it. The curve in her spine will increase quickly and will cause her internal organs to be crushed, so it’s imperative we do the operation otherwise her life could potentially be in danger.”

Her mother Bahar Kadyrova, 34, of Hurst Lane, Cumnor Hill, said: “I really want her to be without the braces and with a straight back, but we have to be patient and do what the doctors say.

“I have no choice, we just have to carry on. It gets very frustrating when I see all the other children do what she can’t and when she explains to me what they are doing it breaks my heart.”

A variety concert by the Christian Music Fellowship Choir is being held tonight at St Clement’s Family Centre in Cross Street to raise money for the operation.

Gulshat, a pupil at Cumnor Primary School, will perform at the event – the same song and dance she performed in December at a pantomime festival in Cumnor.

Ms Kadyrova said: “It’s very helpful for us and I’m happy to know that people do care about us.”

Claire Fullalove, 67, of St Clement’s, Oxford, who started the fundraising appeal three years ago, is hoping businesses will donate.

Ms Kadyrova, who cannot work in the UK for legal reasons, sold all her possessions and put her life on hold in the search for treatment for her daughter. She plans to return Turkmenistan as soon as Gulshat is cured.

Tickets for tonight’s concert, including refreshments, are £5 for adults and £3.50 for children and pensioners and are available on the door or on 01865 427837.

eallen@oxfordmail.co.uk To donate money visit gulshatfund.org.uk