THE parents of a brave teenager from Greenock who lives with complex medical problems hope that a major operation will help improve her quality of life.

Megan McGarva could face spinal surgery this year which could help to straighten her back, which has been damaged by scoliosis.

The 13-year-old has a rare genetic condition called CDKL5 which means she can't walk, talk or feed herself.

She also has curvature of the spine and suffers from frequent epileptic seizures.

The 13-year-old has been suffering from frequent vomiting episodes and this could delay the back procedure she needs.

Her mum Jane Christie, 52, said: "Megan has suffered several vomiting episodes and lots of reflux.

"She could be vomiting six times a day and lost 5lbs.

"She had a seizure at 2pm one day and slept right through until 6.30 the next morning."

The youngster lives with Jane, dad Stephen McGarva and big sister Rebecca in Larkfield.

Doctors have changed Megan's medication and she is now down to two anti-seizure drugs instead of four.

This has helped her wellbeing and her condition has improved greatly over the last two months.

Jane said: "We used cannabis oil to help the seizures, but I notice the vomiting started at the same time and I now think that perhaps she can't tolerate the oil.

"Seizures cause sickness but the seizures have also calmed down.

"Megan is also more alert and vocal.

"But the doctors at the Royal Hospital for Sick Kids in Edinburgh have told us the sickness has to stop before she will be considered for surgery."

Megan has already been fitted with a more robust spinal jacket to help her posture.

The major surgery planned for her would involve realigning and fusing together her curved vertebrae which will heal into a single solid bone.

The surgery also uses a bone graft to help promote the fusion, with small pieces of bone placed into the spaces between the vertebrae to be fused.

Metal rods will be used to hold her spine in place until fusion happens.

At the moment, her head tends to rest to one side and if successful the op would improve her posture and mean should wouldn't need to wear a spinal jacket.

Megan will undergo a sleep test at the end of the month to monitor seizures and oxygen during the night and will go back to see the consultant surgeon in Edinburgh at the end of February.

Stephen and Jane recently accepted the offer of respite help from Robin House and say Megan is benefiting from it.

Robin House has also opened other doors and opportunities for the family.

Megan has been given a hot tub from the Make a Wish Foundation and her parents are fundraising for a summer house for her.

Jane said: "We've always been reluctant to leave Megan with someone else but the constant sickness took its toll.

"We can all go together and Megan loves it."

Stephen, 56, said: "We meet other families all in the same boat and Megan went swimming and to the cinema."

"It's been a lifeline."