Op takes Jack from steps to giant leaps

Jack Pike, who is now able to walk unaided six months since his operation, pictured with his mother Kylie

Jack Pike, who is now able to walk unaided six months since his operation, pictured with his mother Kylie

First published in News by

CHASING a football around the garden or jumping up and down on a trampoline, little Jack Pike’s daily routine bears no resemblance to the life he was forced to lead just a year ago, confined indoors and unable to take a single step without help.

Six months on from a life-changing operation to allow him to recover the use of his legs, the five-year-old has come on leaps and bounds– quite literally – and the once quiet child is now a bundle of energy.

Although he will still need to receive physiotherapy for the next two years and eventually go through another painful procedure to lengthen his left leg, cerebral palsy sufferer Jack is enjoying his new-found freedom and independence, to his mother Kylie’s delight.

“It’s just amazing,” said the 28-year-old. “He can now play football and he doesn’t use his walking frame any more. He can play on the trampoline and on swings, run and ride a bike.

“He had his first sports day at school and he was so cute. He also did his first school play three weeks ago and he walked into the hall in front of everybody without a frame.

“He was running after his little friends at the school fete and I couldn’t believe it, I had to video it. To me, every achievement is amazing. He is a totally different child.

“He is more outgoing. He is so much happier. Part of it was that before his legs were so tired but he is not in any pain anymore.”

Jack suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which caused stiffness to his leg muscles, making walking very difficult.

In January, the Abbey Meads School pupil underwent a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy operation at the former Frenchay Hospital in Bristol and after a few agonising days, started weekly physiotherapy sessions. He is now booked for twice weekly sessions.

As the operation was not available on the NHS, the Pikes spent two years raising £32,000 towards the procedure. But money is fast running out and Kylie is keen to continue raising funds for the costly physiotherapy treatment.

She said: “It’s the best money I’ve ever spent and it was really worth it but we only have £5,000 left and each session costs £150.

“When he was having three a week, it was £1,850 a month. He is now having two and hopefully when school ends it will go down to one a week, but it will still be £600 a month.

“The NHS is saying the operation is not cost-effective and it’s still not available, but if they could see what a difference it has made to Jack, I don’t see how they could say that.”

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