Sophie’s First Steps
Monday 12th October 2015 @ 14:48 by Lee Wild

One very brave little Tameside girl is recovering at home after undergoing life changing surgery in the United States.

Sophie Tomlinson suffers from spastic diplegia, a form a cerebral palsy that makes muscles incredibly stiff. This left her unable to walk or run like other children.

Sophie was born premature at 33 weeks, weighing 3lbs 8oz, and had to spend most of her first year in hospital.

But following a procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) at St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, Sophie is now walking with canes and splints.

It’s all thanks to the families fundraising efforts which managed to bring in nearly £64,000 to fund Sophie’s operation which was not available on the NHS.

They still need more money to fund physio and specialist equipment to help Sophie walk without assistance.

The families fundraising efforts have been widely followed in the Reporter since the launch of their campaign at the start of last year with Sophie’s stirt travelling the globe and making national headlines.

One generous anonymous donor even pledged free flights for the family to travel to Missouri when they got all the funds they needed and the go-ahead from surgeons.

Now Sophie is at home in Dukinfield and on her way to recovery with her mum Alison saying she “can’t keep her still”.

She said: “She underwent the surgery and by the night time she could wiggle her toes which she couldn’t before the operation.

“At the moment she’s undergoing intense physiotherapy.

“But she’s back at preschool and can walk for the first time with the help of canes and splints.

“She’s taken steps now that she couldn’t before.”

Sophie is now undergoing physical therapy with a physio to strengthen the muscles in her lower body to help her walk unaided.

To donate to Sophie’s Tiny Steps visit