Help Leon take his first steps
Leon needs a life changing operation to help him to walk. He has spastic diaplegia cerebral palsy and is unable to move around unassisted. We are trying to raise £45,000 to get Leon to America where the operation will take place.
Leon is 18 months old. He was born at 29 weeks and 5 days and weighed 2lb 14oz. He was placed on life support for 21 days, but was allowed to leave NICU within 5 weeks of being born and start life at home.
Everything was great, Leon was gaining weight and coming along nicely, but his family noticed that his right foot angled out. When they went back to hospital, the doctors said that this was a result of Leon being born early and it would correct itself when he starts walking.
Since April 2010 Leon has been in and out of hospital due to upper respiratory tract symptoms but is still smiling, Basildon Hospital Staff have nicked named him Happy Baby as no matter how ill Leon is, he still manages to smile and laugh.
On November 22, 2010, Leon was diagnosed with spastic diaplegia cerebral palsy. Both his legs and his right arm are affected. Leon cannot sit up on his own and cannot walk, but is able to pull himself up and tries to pull himself around the furniture. Leon needs constant support throughout the day.
Since Leon was diagnosed, his family heard about a life changing operation called SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy) which they carry out in the St. Louis Children's Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri. The results have been completely life changing for both children and adults who have undergone the procedure.
On 23rd February 2012 Leon had his life changing operation and it was a huge success. For two weeks after the operation Leon and his family stayed in America to undergo some intense physio training which included walking on a treadmill, getting up & down from sitting to standing position, reaching for toy cars and a bike ride round the hospital! It was hard work for him but with this training he was able to walk longer and longer with support.
Physio has continued since his return to his home and although there have been ups and downs he is a happy little boy… even supporting team GB for the Olympics!
Much needed funds are still be raised for his after-care and any support you can give, no matter how big or small, would be much appreciated. Leon's dad and friend have even set themselves a challenge to canoe over 200 miles from Bristol to South End on Sea to raise awareness of the SDR Operation for children with Cerebral Palsy (spastic diaplegia) and also raise funds along the way for Leon. Leon’s mum says:
"Thank you to everyone who has helped us along the way and donated because without you guys Leon wouldn't have had the operation. We are still short by £1,000 for £45,000 target but we are hoping to go over by a little bit for all the after-care and equipment as we never realized how much it would all cost but it is all worth it for our special little boy that still loves to smile."
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