Pioneering procedure could help youngster with cerebral palsy walk for the first time

A mum and dad have launched a massive fundraising campaign so that their young son – who was born with a rare movement disorder – can have a life-changing operation.

Sam and Lisa Smith, from Cambridgeshire, are optimistic that the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) procedure could help five-year-old Zach to walk independently for the first time.

Unfortunately the surgery is not available on the NHS, which is why the couple have to explore the option of financing the operation themselves.

Zach’s parents are approaching the half-way stage and are hoping to be able to raise the remainder of the cash so that the procedure can be carried out by the specialist team at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“At the moment he can crawl, that’s the main way of getting around. We carry him most of the time,” Sam told his local newspaper. “He does use a walker but just in the house maybe once a day, it’s quite tiring for him.

“Apart from him not being like everyone else, he is quite a happy boy. He just gets on with it. He’s just at that age now wondering why he can’t walk and what is Cerebral Palsy. That’s tough to hear.

“[With this operation] he will be able to walk. Unaided or if not unaided, a lot better than he can at the moment.”

Zach was born in 2010 and was just a few months old when he was formally diagnosed with Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy – a form of the condition which, as the name suggests, affects all four limbs.

“We were told that he would never be able to sit, crawl, stand, walk or talk and his fine motor skills would be affected,” added Sam.

“It was quite a body blow really. You just pick yourself up and get on with it. Zach is a hero to a lot of people. He’s determined in everything he does.”

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.