From little steps to one giant leap
Tuesday 31st July 2018 @ 14:14 by Lee Wild
Denton & Audenshaw News

One little girl’s journey to walking unaided took an unexpected leap forward earlier this month following a groundbreaking government decision.

3-year-old Lottie Simpson from Denton suffers from Diplegia Cerebral Palsy, a condition which means her leg muscles are tight, making it difficult for her to walk.

Fundraisers continue to raise money to help Lottie

Lottie’s parents had launched an £80k fundraising campaign to send her to the United States for pioneering surgery, but received good news a couple of weeks ago when they discovered that SDR operations could be carried out in the UK. SDR (selective dorsal rhizotomy) is an operation in which a surgeon severs nerves in the spinal column to reduce the tightness of muscles, which will help Lottie walk without the aid of a frame.

The family were delighted with the news and paid to schedule the operation for Lottie at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital . However, more good news came just two weeks ago when it was announced that the NHS would begin funding SDR operations and the hospital confirmed they would be refunding the families money. This means that all the funds raised so far will go to helping Lottie recover from the operation and strengthen her muscles through physiotherapy for the foreseeable future.

The decision saw the NHS agree to fund operations for children aged between 3 and 9 that are at level 2 and 3 of severity. Lottie is classed as level 3 meaning that the hospital are in the process of refunding the families deposit. They had already raised over £35k for the operation, and that money will now be spent on a wide range of equipment and professionals to help Lottie recover from the surgery. Lottie’s mum Vicky estimates that the money will last for 5 years of physiotherapy. She said: “It’s like we’ve had this massive weight lifted off our shoulders.

“If we’d have gone to the USA we’d have had to take turns looking after the children and not both be with Lottie at the same time, but now she’s having the operation over here we can concentrate just on Lottie.

Vicky only found out the news when someone alerted her to a story about the new NHS funding on social media. She said: “I read it but couldn’t believe if it was true. I didn’t want to tell anyone I case it wasn’.

“I Emailed Alder Hey to ask about confirmation for the payment and they emailed back asking if I’d heard the news?

“We’ve gone from thinking wed have to raise thousand and go to America now to the NHS funding it.

“Hundreds of other families are going to benefit from it which is just brilliant.”

The family have been provisionally been given the date of 11 January next year for Lottie’s operation, meaning they’ve got sixth months to get Lottie as strong as possible to aid with her recovery. After the surgery, she’ll undergo three weeks of physiotherapy at the hospital and stay in Ronald McDonald House. Two weeks later, she’ll be allowed home at weekends to continue her recovery.

Despite the good news a team of fantastic volunteers continue their fundraising efforts to help Lottie. Last weekend a team of well-wishers completed a 34-mile bike ride and then a climb up the 1,085m Mount Snowdon. The team, led by Andy Hughes, raised even more money for Lottie’s recovery, that the family hope will help to fund a hot tub to allow Lottie to undergo hydrotherapy at home. Vicky was thankful for everyone that’s contributed to Lottie’s campaign, saying: “We want to say massive thank you to everybody that’s helped us get so far. It’s going to give Lottie a better future and last us so much longer.”