A YOUNG girl has undergone surgery for a condition giving her the “exercise capacity of a 100-year-old” - as her family seek to have the costly operation restored on the NHS.

Bury student Lizzie Carty, 17, has pectus excavatum, a condition in which her breastbone is sunken into her chest. Severe cases can eventually interfere with the function of the heart and lungs.

The NHS stopped performing the corrective operation last year, with Lizzie’s parents now having to fork out around £7,000 for an ICU stay.

Her parents, Kate and John, from Radcliffe, are supporting a petition to have the surgery restored, which now has more than 5,300 signatures on Parliament’s official petition page.

Kate said: “It was on the NHS but then they decided it wasn’t beneficial for patients. Some people can have the condition and not have an issue, but for people like Lizzie, it’s very painful and affects her life.

“She also goes through stages where her resting heart rate is over 120, seven to 10 days at a time, which causes her to feel dizzy, shaky and breathless at rest.”

A Haller Index is used to measure the severity of a Pectus Excavatum chest deformity - with anything more than 3.5 being classed as severe. But Lizzie has a measurement of 9.6.

The Holy Cross College student said: “It can be really quite painful and it can leave me really breathless. I’ve been sharing it on social media and with my parents to help raise awareness. The results of the operation should happen straight away and I should be able to feel the benefits from it.”

Lizzie's surgeon has blasted the “unfair” policy to remove the operation from the NHS - with him and his team only charging the Carty family what the NHS would have been losing.

Joel Dunning said: “They basically regarded it as a cosmetic boob-job style surgery and ignored the fact people’s hearts were being squashed. We even tried to apply for a special case for someone with a squashed heart like poor Liz, but we are doing it on our NHS contract and just charging what the NHS is losing.

“In a couple of weeks, her breathing will have been transformed and she will get her life back. Still, it’s £7,000 a teenager doesn’t have and we are trying to fight to get the surgery back.”

Lizzie was set to undergo her surgery as the Bury Times went to press in Middlesbrough.

Kate added: “Just walking up the stairs can leave her out of breath. She went on a bike ride with her friend once and only got to the end of the street.

"In some ways it has left her with the exercise capacity of a 100-year-old.

"It is noticeable but it has never been a problem for her, it’s just that if she was going out with her friends, she would have to work out the best way to do it.”

“We are going to have to get a loan to pay for it, but many others in our position won’t be able to get approval, so that’s why we are trying to raise awareness.”

The petition can be found here: https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/329161