Little Jack is a step closer to walking unaided
THE family of Jack Pike are hoping he could be taking his first steps unaided this year after securing an appointment with specialists at Frenchay Hospital.
The four-year-old, who lives in Penhill, suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which means the muscles in his legs do not work properly, but an operation at Frenchay could change that.
Jack has been refused NHS funding for the £23,000 surgery, so if he is given the go-ahead after the appointment in May, his family will be paying for the surgery and thousands of pounds worth of aftercare.
It will be paid for with £32,000 of donations they have received from generous people across the town.
Jack’s mum, Kylie, said: “This is where we see all the specialists together. They will spend two hours looking at the muscle length in his legs, joint range and muscle tone as well.
“We will have the appointment and then four weeks later they will tell us ‘yes’ or ‘no’.”
The surgery, known as the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy operation, is a complex neurosurgical technique that targets nerves in the spine to treat spasticity in the lower limbs. The technique used at Frenchay Hospital is the same as that developed in St Louis in the USA, and takes up to seven hours to carry out.
The family met Dr Kristian Aquilina, the first surgeon in the country to offer the surgery, last year but he has now left the hospital and two of his consultant colleagues have taken his place.
The appointment with Dr Aquilina was to determine whether Jack would be put forward for the assessment, which will take place on May 10. The appointment, which will cost the family £2,204 for, will be the first time they meet the new team.
Kylie said: “I didn’t expect us to get the appointment so soon. Hopefully he will have it done a couple of months later, I am hoping it will be done ready for when he starts school in September. He has missed so much nursery and I don’t want him missing school.”
Jack’s family are still fundraising to pay for his physiotherapy.
Visit the Tiptoes2 Footsteps page on Facebook for further information.