April 23 2014 Latest news:
By NAOMI GORNALL
Monday, December 24, 2012
IT WAS the day her family never believed would come.
Seven-year-old Brooke Lawrance who suffers from cerebral palsy is finally standing on her own two feet after undergoing pioneering surgery in America.
When Brooke was diagnosed with the condition at the age of two-and-a-half, her family was told she would have to spend her life in a wheelchair.
But now, thanks to the latest treatments, there is every chance she will walk unaided for the first time.
Brooke’s mum, Sarah, of Morland Road, said: “The doctors in America told us that she is likely to be able to walk eventually.
“Both Brooke and I cried when we came out of that room. We never thought it was going to be possible.”
The Lawrance family, including mum Sarah, dad Peter, sisters Nadine and Neve and brother Samuel, flew to America last month for Brooke’s first operation on November 15.
The brave youngster, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby, had the life-changing selective dorsal rhizotomy operation at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri.
She then underwent a second orthopaedic operation on her heel chords on December 4, and since arriving back home last weekend, has been making a remarkable recovery.
Sarah added: “While we were there, it was like a rollercoaster ride. The day after her operation she was in so much pain but ever since then she has been using her walker.
“If it wasn’t for all the physiotherapy she does, I don’t think she would have bounced back so quickly.
“It is amazing how she can do things by herself now. She decorated the Christmas tree for the first time this year.”
The youngster will now have to endure intensive physiotherapy sessions over the next few years and even though it is painful, the family know it will be worth it in the long term.
“It is going to be the best Christmas ever. Brooke is going to be able to go off and play with her toys, which she has never been able to do before,” Sarah said.
Brooke, who has asked Santa Claus for a doctor’s set this year, added: “It has been very hard. But I am happy to be able to walk.”
n Since October last year, there have been many fundraising events to raise the £70,000 needed for the surgery. Now more money is needed to fund her physiotherapy sessions and help her get back on her feet for good. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org