Cerebral palsy sufferer Alycia Ellis must undergo surgery before she can have the dream procedure that will help her walk unaided – because her condition has deteriorated so badly.
Eight year old Alycia, a pupil at Robert Le Kyng School, in Wescott Street, needs about £50,000 for a selective dorsal rhizotomy operation to help her walk unaided. The operation is not available on the NHS.
However, because her condition has deteriorated so much, Alycia will now undergo multi-level surgery – a six hour operation that will see her recovering at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford for approximately a month.
The complex operation involves a series of procedures to help children with cerebral palsy walk with less effort by rearranging the muscles and bones in their hips and legs.
Alycia’s mum Natasha, who works in logistics at RAF Brize Norton, said: “When we went to see the consultant at Bristol, he couldn’t believe how much Alycia had deteriorated, her muscles and tendons have just become too tight, it should have been done a long time ago really.
“They’ve said she will be bed-bound for a week after the surgery in May, then it will be back to basics, they’ll have to gradually get her to stand up straight, which she’s never really been able to do.
“We’ve been told she’ll be in agony but we are hoping the benefits will outweigh what we are putting her through.
“Alycia is quite scared about the operation, she’s quite apprehensive and she’s asked if she will have to get rid of her wheelchair. I think it’s a scary prospect that people will want her to walk.
“I’m excited but I’m also scared – she’ll be in surgery for six hours and she’ll have to be on an epidural for five days so it will be very painful for her.”
Once Alycia has undergone the surgery, she will still need the SDR op but this can only be done a year later after her progress has been monitored.
“You can give a child physio until the cows come home but unless you have the SDR, the muscles and tendons will keep tightening, so we are continuing to fundraise for the SDR,” said Natasha.
“We have raised just under £30,000 and we need to get to £50,000 to cover the costs of physio after the op.”
Despite her disability, Alycia is progressing well at school and enjoying her specially adapted bike which has given her some independence.
“She is loving her bike, and the teachers at her school are amazed by her,” said Natasha.“All of a sudden her reading and spelling is brilliant, we are so proud of her.”
To help Alycia call Natasha on 07825 828265 or visit alyciaamericandream.com