A young girl who has lived with cerebral palsy since birth has walked to school for the first time following a life-changing operation.
Four-year-old Emmy King, who lives in Hampshire, was born with spastic diplegia, a type of cerebral palsy characterised by extreme muscle stiffness and tightness.
At the time, her parents were worried that Emmy would never be able to walk unaided and would need to use a wheelchair to get around for the rest of her life.
“When Emmy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby, before I’d even left the consultant’s office, my mind jumped straight forward to this moment,” Carly King, Emmy’s mother, recalls.
“Will she ever walk? Will she be able to go to a mainstream school? Since the day she was diagnosed our entire family has worked tirelessly to make this a reality.”
Over the years, Emmy’s parents have organised a number of fundraising initiatives in their efforts to help the youngster get on her feet.
Their aim was to fund a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) operation in the US – a kind of treatment which is not currently available on the NHS and typically costs around £85,000.
Through donations from friends, family members, acquaintances and strangers, the family hit its target a few years ago and jetted off to the US for Emmy to undergo the procedure.
Since then, the bubbly youngster has been having intensive physiotherapy – which has required teaching her how to walk and stand up independently.
In recent weeks, the four-year-old managed to walk to school for the first time, all thanks to the life-changing operation.
“One year of epic fundraising and two years of daily, relentless physiotherapy, and here we are. Our dream has come true,” Ms King said.
Enviva Paediatric Care provides nurse-managed homecare for babies, children and young people. To find out more about our services, contact us today.