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Can you help fund life-changing operation so little Lucas can walk unaided?
THE parents of a three-year-old boy are appealing for help to fund a life-changing operation to help him walk.
Lucas Turnbull suffers from a form of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia, which leaves him with pain and tightness in his legs and hips.
As he gets older his legs are becoming more twisted, despite his brave efforts to walk using tripods, and one day he could be confined to a wheelchair.
Mum Sara and dad Michael, of Palmerston Road in Parkstone, are appealing for £50,000 so Lucas can undergo selective dorsal rhizotomy at St Louis Children’s Hospital in America, after which they hope he will be able to walk unaided.
Mr Turnbull, 36, said: “Lucas is a lovely and caring little boy who only recently discovered ball games.
“He has really come a long way through hours of physiotherapy, and now he asks to be taken to the park and plays games in the back garden.
Mum Sara, 33, said: “His little brother Sebastian has had a big influence on him because he never stops moving around, and Lucas wants to be able to do the same.”
They have raised £10,800 in just two months.
“It has been an amazing journey, a very emotional one realising that things don’t always have to be this way and one day hopefully Lucas can take his first steps on his own,” said Mr Turnbull.
Mrs Turnbull added: “We are planning lots of events and the main thing is for people to come along and enjoy themselves. Even a £2 donation is a party in this household.”
The working couple’s first big event will be family fun day at Green Pastures in Branksome on September 28, with games and activities and a visit from Peppa Pig.
You can see a video of Lucas’ journey so far on You Tube at youtube.com/watch?v=kNNwl5wHzUc.
To donate visit justgiving.com/Lucas-FindingMyFeet, or text FEET56£3 to 70070 to donate £3.
Selective dorsal rhizotomy has a high success rate for reducing stiffness, and was pioneered by surgeons at the St Louis Hospital in Missouri.
It involves cutting nerve roots at the base of the spine to reduce the signals which result in spasticity.
Although some hospitals have begun to offer the treatment in the UK, American doctors are renowned for a specialised version which only enters the spine in one location, resulting in a reduced risk of future complications.
Mr Turnbull said: “The surgeons at St Louis have now done more than 2,000 operations with no issues, and we thought they had the best post-op care, which is about 50 per cent of the procedure.”
Lucas’ operation has been booked for May next year and the family have until March to gather the funds, of which £35,000 will pay for the operation and £15,000 for a year of vital physiotherapy.
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