“COREY just can’t wait to be like everyone else – we are so excited we can’t stop smiling.”
For the family of six-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer Corey Cummings, the weekend brought with it the best news they could have wished for – a phone call from Frenchay Hospital to say Corey fits the bill for a life-changing operation.
Corey, of Coate, cannot walk unaided but an operation called a selective dorsal rhizotomy, which is not available on the NHS, will enable him to walk independently, and eventually run and play like other children his age.
The operation costs £24,000 and since April, Corey’s family, friends and strangers have clubbed together to raise the impressive amount while waiting to hear whether or not he is a suitable patient.
If Frenchay refused to carry out the operation, Corey and his family would have had to raise £50,000 for him to have it done in America, something his mum Kelly was desperate not to do.
She said: “I had been told they were having meetings about it at the end of September.
“I was calling them all week with no answer, then on Friday morning they called and told me the news. I just couldn’t believe it. “I cried and I spent most of the morning crying but with a big smile on my face.
“I wasn’t expecting it at all because I’ve become friends with families whose children have had the operation done in Bristol and they had been able to take independent steps unaided before the operation, but Corey can’t do that at all, so I’d resigned myself to it being a no.
“It is something I have been researching since Corey was two, but I had to wait until he decided he wanted to have it done, it had to be on his terms. “It feels like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders – I really didn’t want to travel to America, it would have meant taking the children out of school, my husband would have had to take a lot of time off work, and it just wasn’t ideal.”
The operation is a complex neurosurgical technique used to treat spasticity in the lower limbs and the technique used at Frenchay Hospital is the same as that developed in St Louis in the USA.
Corey’s family will now wait to hear when the operation will be carried out but are continuing to fundraise in order to pay for vital physiotherapy following the op.
“Thanks to the bike riders at the weekend, I think we have a cheque coming in for £1,000 and then we will have raised £24,000,” said Kelly.
“It is just amazing, we only started fundraising in April and it has all happened so quickly.
“Corey is excited. He can’t wait to be like everybody else and to have a little bit of ease without waking up in the night with cramps. “And it is starting to get colder and damper out which makes it much worse for him in the nights. He just knows this is going to make such a difference to his life.”