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Family’s hopes for young Jack
10:20pm Sunday 7th October 2012 in News
THE family of Jack Pike were crossing their fingers this morning as they prepared to meet the surgeon who could change his life.
The three-year-old, who suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, is at the centre of a £24,000 fundraising campaign to pay for an operation to get him walking unaided.
He was due in Bristol this morning with his parents, Kylie and Gary, to see Dr Kristian Aquilina at Frenchay Hospital to be assessed for the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy operation.
Kylie, of Penhill, said: “It’s exciting that we are actually going for the appointment.
“When I get Jack dressed and he stands up and holds on to me I say to him ‘you’re going to stand on your own one day’ and he says ‘yes, and play football.’ “We have written a list of questions we want to ask the surgeon.”
The surgery 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.
The family have decided to pay for the operation themselves rather than wait to see whether the NHS will.
They have raised more than £28,500 so far but will need to raise more to pay for physiotherapy and aftercare.
It is hoped that Jack, who is part of the Adver’s Help Us Walk campaign, can have the surgery after he turns four in January.
As well as suffering with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, Jack also has epilepsy and an enlarged heart, and has a feeding tube.
“Jack has had so many operations he is frightened of pain now,” said Kylie.
“I am scared now. I’m scared of putting him through it, not of going to see the surgeon. I always worry about what could happen if it goes wrong. It could work and he could soon be walking, but there is a risk that he could be paralysed from the neck down.”
Earlier this week, the Adver reported that Corey Cummings, who is also part of the Help Us Walk campaign, has been told he can have the surgery at Frenchay.
Jack’s family are fundraising to pay for the physiotherapy that Jack will need following the operation. Visit the Tiptoes2Footsteps page on Facebook for further information.
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