JACK Pike is nearly ready to take his first steps. The five-year-old is recovering at Frenchay Hospital in Bristol, after going through a difficult but life-changing operation.
The little boy, of Penhill, suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which causes stiffness to his leg muscles, making it very difficult for him to walk.
He underwent pioneering surgery on his spine in Bristol on Monday, more than two years after his parents Kylie and Gary launched a fundraising campaign to raise the £24,000 needed for the operation.
The Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy is a complex neurosurgical technique that targets nerves in the spine to treat spasticity in the lower limbs.
But the operation did not go as seamlessly as his family had hoped.
The initial incision was too low, as what the bone surgeons were targeting was actually higher up his spine.
This prolonged the procedure and left Jack in excruciating pain.
Yet he is expected to make a full recovery.
“It went well but he is still in the high dependency unit because he keeps screaming out in pain,” said Kylie, 27.
“They had to make a bigger incision in his spine. The bone they were trying to get at was not in the right place but higher. So he has got a much bigger cut than he would normally have had.
“He is very tired. He is constantly on morphine but it’s not really helping. It’s hard.
“During the operation, it was very stressful for us. We sat around and there was nothing much we could do. I’m pleased to have him back with me.”
He is already showing signs of improvement and his legs will soon be placed in casts to allow his muscles to stretch.
“He lifted his feet up, which he couldn’t before because they were so tight,” added Kylie.
“I’m happy it’s over and done with but he is in so much pain; I just want him back as my happy little Jack. But I know he will be.”
As the Pikes were refused NHS funding for the £24,000 surgery, they launched a campaign to secure the sum.
Thanks to the help of generous Swindonians, they eventually reached the £32,000 mark.
Jack, who was born with an enlarged heart and has a heart murmur, had to undergo a test, known as an ECG, to make sure he would be able to cope with the surgery last summer. He will be in hospital for a minimum of three weeks.