Fundraising breakthrough leads to life-changing operation for boy with cerebral palsy

A four-year-old boy with a rare kind of cerebral palsy has been photographed riding a bike with a beaming smile on his face. The news follows an innovative operation paid for by a celebrity-backed fundraising campaign.

Dewi James, Pontypridd, Wales, was first diagnosed with diplegia spasticity last year – a rare condition which had a significant impact on Dewi’s balance and impaired his ability to walk.

But now, the young boy has been able to live his lifelong dream of riding a bike, after a range of fundraising activities supported by Welsh actress Eve Myles, star of Broadchurch, managed to raise more than £50,000.

The funds went towards a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation in America – a life-changing treatment unavailable on the NHS and reported to cost an average of £60,000.

The rare operation involves testing nerves along the spine and eliminating those found to be causing spasticity in the muscles.

Parents Deborah and Rob James gathered together family and friends, including Ms Myles, to raise the funds required.

The campaign involved a charity mountain climb to the peak of Snowdon and a wide range of fundraising initiatives.

Deborah said: “I am so glad we fundraised for Dewi to have this operation and it was not easy. But goodness only knows what other damage would have been done to his little body if we had waited to see if we had got a golden ticket from the NHS.

“Dewi is doing amazing after his surgery but to make this progress permanent, Dewi will need intense physiotherapy for the next three years as without the therapy, the operation becomes pointless.

“The physiotherapy he needs will cost around £15,000 to £20,000 so we’re hoping to reach that target,” she added.

EnViva Paediatric Care, our experienced staff can provide complex nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people with conditions including cerebral palsy. For more information about the services we provide, please contact us today.