CEREBRAL palsy sufferer Robbie Davies could soon take his very first steps following news that the costly operation he has been waiting to receive for more than three years will finally be available on the NHS.
In 2011, the Davies family launched an appeal to secure the £24,000 needed towards the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery and allow the eight year old, who is confined to a wheelchair, to walk.
Despite their best efforts, fundraising events did not draw the attention they hoped and in three years they have collected £13,000.
Reports this week that the NHS would make the operation available free of charge for the next three years as part of a pilot was the news his mother Kelly had been hoping for – but never dared to dream would become reality.
“I found out about it and I was just crying and shaking; it was so emotional,” said the 32-year-old from Lower Stratton. “I felt like I was in a dream.
“I went into his school at 11.30am to tell him because I couldn’t wait. His first words were ‘When I walk, I want a BMX bike’.”
“Robbie can’t walk at all, not even with a frame.
“It would be lovely to see him out of his chair, even walking with a walker.”
She added: “We had not raised the amount and because of fundraising not going how we wanted it to we decided we would start saving up ourselves to do it with our own money.
“It has put a lot of pressure on the family. We wanted the operation so much.
“This has opened up a whole new chapter.”
Robbie, a pupil at Robert Le Kyng Primary School, has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which means the muscles in his legs do not work properly.
Yesterday, the little boy was referred to Great Ormond Street for an assessment where he is due to receive an appointment very soon.
The £13,000 raised by the family will now be put aside for the months of physiotherapy required post-operation. The treatment can cost up to £20,000 depending on the frequency of the sessions.
“The money we’ve raised will go towards his after care,” added the mother-of-four, whose daughter Emily also suffers from cerebral palsy.
“He is a happy-go-lucky kind of boy. But it’s hard for him.
“He gets cramps in his legs and he can get frustrated.
“We can’t just take him to parks because it’s not fair on him seeing other children running around and playing.
“He is bright and intelligent but his legs are holding him back.”