Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 9°C

Search

Ipswich: Courageous Brooke’s dream to walk comes a step closer

12:30 29 November 2012

Brooke Lawrance in hospital ready for her operation

Brooke Lawrance in hospital ready for her operation

Archant

A LONG-AWAITED dream for seven-year-old Brooke Lawrance is starting to become a reality today.

Nearly a fortnight ago the youngster, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby and has to use a wheelchair, underwent a life-changing operation in America.

Just days after the pioneering selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, she took her first tentative steps towards walking on her own two feet.

Her proud mum Sarah Lawrance, of Morland Road, Ipswich, said: “The operation went really well.

“Brooke is already doing things that she couldn’t do before the surgery like side-stepping, walking up steps assisted and her walking is so much better.

“She has an hour of physio at hospital and an hour a day at home with some stretches to improve her mobility.

“There’s a long way to go but she’s getting there.”

Determined Brooke spent her seventh birthday in a hospital bed but received dozens of birthday cards and presents from loved ones back home.

She also enjoyed Skype and video messaging with her family and friends to keep her spirits up.

Brooke’s journey

October 2011 - The Lawrance family launches the fundraising campaign

February 2012 - Mayor of Ipswich officially launches Brooke’s Wish To Walk appeal

May 2012 - Brooke is rejected from having the operation at Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital

September 2012 - Date is set for life-changing operation in America

November 2012 - Brooke has the pioneering surgery

The whole Lawrance family, including dad Peter, sisters Nadine and Neve and brother Samuel, travelled to America earlier this month before Brooke had the operation on November 15.

Although Brooke has been discharged from hospital, she will have to return on Tuesday for her second operation.

The brave youngster will undergo an orthopaedic operation on both her heel cords to achieve the best possible outcome of the main surgery.

The family, who has been fundraising for the £70,000 needed for the surgery since October last year, will be spending a total of five weeks in America while Brooke recovers from her treatment.

Mr Lawrance said: “All being well we should fly home on December 15 and the hope is to enjoy a big family Christmas together.”

The generosity of family, friends and complete strangers made Brooke’s dream come true by raising more than £62,000.

Another £3,000 is needed before Town 102FM donate the final £5,000.

Upcoming fundraisers include a team climbing Mount Everest and Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table’s annual Santa and Rudolph float will be travelling around Ipswich next month in aid of the appeal.

The family was left heartbroken earlier in the year after a businessman vanished having promised to help raise money for the appeal.

As revealed in The Star in October, a car finance executive from Scotland offered to arrange rides in supercars as auction prizes, but disappeared shortly after the successful bidders were due to collect their prizes.

Visit www.justgiving.com/brookeswishtowalk to donate.

n Send your messages of support for Brooke to Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

0 comments

Aspiring rock-gods and up-and-coming shredders have pitted their axe-wielding skills to the test in a competition to find Ipswich’s top air guitar hero.

Five men have been jailed for a total of 112 years for conspiring to murder a man in Bury St Edmunds who was left for dead after being shot with a sawn-off shotgun.

Now 10 games into the season and Ipswich Town sit 13th in the table. Is that going to be the club’s level for the rest of the season?

Police in Ipswich are cracking down on anti-social behaviour in Christchurch Park, after reports of drug users and heavy drinkers in the area.

The first layers of paint concealing one of Carl Giles’s most important pieces of artwork have been scraped away – but it is still too early to tell if it can be salvaged.

A project that has seen an unkempt woodland transformed into an outdoor learning space has been awarded a £6,000 grant.

Police have launched a search for a missing Suffolk schoolgirl.

Today schools, care homes, mum’s groups and office all over Suffolk have been brewing up for Macmillan’s World’s Biggest Coffee Morning.

A Hadleigh father-to-be who may never walk again after a freak rugby tackle admits he is “flabbergasted” after receiving offers of a free £8,000 electric wheelchair and his household bills being paid for six months.

We’ve now reached the third instalment of our A-Z of Ipswich looking at the history of our most distinguished residents and iconic buildings.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

MyDate24 MyPhotos24