Nine year old Ellie-Louise was born early at 29 weeks and weighed a tiny 2lbs 12oz. A little fighter, as soon as she was strong enough, she was let home from hospital to be cared for by her parents.
As she got older, her parents noticed that there were certain development milestones that Ellie-Louise did not reach. A trip to the doctor saw her diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy.
The most common form of cerebral palsy, it affects the lower abdomen, restricting movement in the pelvis down. One of the main symptoms Ellie-Louise deals with on a day to day basis is a tightness and pain in her muscles. She relies on a wheelchair to get around, and although she can walk with the aid of a frame, it is tiring and uncomfortable.
However, there is hope for Ellie-Louise. Her parents were made aware of procedure called "Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy" (SDR), a surgical procedure on the spinal cord that can relieve the symptoms of SDCP. The operation is carried out by Dr. Parks, a top neurosurgeon at St. Louis Children's Hospital Missouri. To date he has carried out over 2000 operations with 100% success rate.
Ellie has now returned from America after her operations. The doctors have confirmed that it was a success and her recovery is going well. Ellie has got to continue with her therapy 6 times a week until 6 months after her operation and 3-4 times a week for a further 6 months. Ellie can only receive one 1 hour session a week for 6 weeks from the NHS and the family are raising funds to cover the rest. For this, they are organising fundraising events and would love to have your support.
As part of her recovery Ellie will need to return to America in 12 months to be seen by both doctors which we know will cost quite a bit as well.
This kind of experience can put a lot of pressure on families and costs a lot of money, but a small price to pay for the chance for the bubbly schoolgirl to have a near normal life without pain and tightness in her legs - and for her to achieve her dreams of wearing pretty girly shoes and riding a pony.
To donate - no matter how little or how much, it all helps - click here