A major fundraising appeal has been launched for twins that were diagnosed with cerebral palsy; Charlie and Freddie Holmes, to try and improve their lives.
The boys were born prematurely, at just 30 weeks and spent the first seven weeks in a neonatal intensive care unit.
Charlie the eldest who was born 13 minutes before his brother was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy just a few weeks after he was born. This condition is the most severe form of cerebral palsy and affects both his arms and legs.
When the boys were two, their parents noticed Freddie had failed to hit his developmental milestones and took him for tests which confirmed he also had the condition, although the less severe diplegic form.
The twins are now four years old and Freddie has been approved for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery on the NHS at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital which can help him walk unaided.
Freddie’s surgery is what initiated the fundraising campaign to raise £20,000 to help pay for crucial physiotherapy to ensure that after his surgery is a success. But the fundraising is also to for both the boys to have the equipment needed and also the home improvements accessible to make their lives easier.
Mum, Jo said: “Coming to terms with the prospect of having a disabled child is daunting but then the shock of having disabled twins was something we were not prepared for.
“There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but hopefully we can do everything we can to improve their lives now and in the future.
“The NHS physiotherapy for Freddie after his op is not enough. It’s only around two sessions a week so we’d like to pay privately to supplement it.
“It would be pointless having the operation without the physiotherapy. The key part is the two years of physiotherapy. We need equipment for the house, like parallel bars and a child-sized treadmill.
“It will be absolutely vital for Freddie to be able to walk on his own, but what strength he has now will be gone. Fundamentally, he will have to learn to walk again. He loves being outside and hates being cooped up in the house.”
Dad Rich is also organising a number of fundraising events to help with their campaign.
He said: “It would be unbelievable to see Freddie walk independently. When he first started trying to walk it was absolutely amazing to see.
“If he can develop that and start walking without aid then he’s well on his way to a normal life and more opportunities will open up for him. I’m excited about the future.”