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Teenager with spine reconstructed with titanium bolts and rods prepares to run latest half marathon

PUBLISHED: 14:13 05 April 2019 | UPDATED: 14:13 05 April 2019

Dereham teenager, Richard Joisce, prepares to run Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon following spinal reconstruction. Picture: NNUH

Dereham teenager, Richard Joisce, prepares to run Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon following spinal reconstruction. Picture: NNUH

Archant

A teenager from Norfolk is preparing for the run of his life following a complex operation which saw his spine reconstructed with titanium bolts and rods.

Dereham teenager, Richard Joisce, prepares to run Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon following spinal reconstruction. The photo shows x-rays of his spine before and after surgery. He recently had a hospital check-up. Picture: NNUHDereham teenager, Richard Joisce, prepares to run Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon following spinal reconstruction. The photo shows x-rays of his spine before and after surgery. He recently had a hospital check-up. Picture: NNUH

Three years ago, Richard Joisce, 19, from Dereham, underwent major surgery to reconstruct his spine.

But this weekend he will be taking part in the Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon, running across 13 miles (21km) of Norfolk countryside.

The Lancaster University student is hoping to complete the half marathon in one hour and 35 minutes on Sunday April 7.

He said: “My recovery has gone really well.

“I started running because I wasn’t able to play rugby after surgery. Within eight months I was running my first half marathon. I’m hoping to run a lot quicker on Sunday.”

Mr Joisce was first diagnosed with scoliosis when he was 13 years old and underwent surgery at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) during the summer of 2016.

And within six months of his scoliosis surgery, he was able to start running.

Am Rai, consultant orthopaedic and spinal surgeon at NNUH, who carried out Mr Joisce’s surgery, said: “We have a dedicated spinal team here at the NNUH that can deal with scoliosis and we have received recognition nationally for running a scoliosis week at the hospital.

“Richard’s recovery has been excellent and shows what we can achieve and how young people’s quality of life can be improved.

“This is credit to the team and we want to continue to improve our scoliosis service to treat patients across East Anglia.”

The Larking Gowen City of Norwich Half Marathon is organised by the members and friends of City of Norwich Athletic Club.

First staged in 1985 by Duke Street Running Club, this race was originally based in the centre of Norwich. Then in 1993 it moved to the Norfolk Showground and had been there ever since.

The race starts and finishes within the showground and follows a rural single lap route through the parishes of Easton, Honingham, Colton, Barnham Broom, Marlingford and close to Easton College.

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