Originally denied surgery by the NHS, Four-year old Evie Tucker will nevertheless be able to get the surgery she needs due to the efforts of friends and family to raise £30,000 ($47,670.)
Evie has cerebral palsy, which limits the use she has of her legs to slowly shuffling only a few steps at a time while leaning on a metal walking frame. She also has painful spasms in her legs caused by the cerebral palsy.
Without a particular operation Evie will never be able to walk. Luckily for Evie, the only hospital in Britain which is capable of performing this procedure is located only 12 miles from where she lives in Bristol.
The surgery, called a selective dorsal rhizotomy, is not without risks. The NHS, which does sometimes provide the funds for the surgery when they deem the need pressing, warns parents that the operation is irreversible; it could end in complications, actually making walking worse, or harming bladder function. The procedure is done on children with cerebral palsy between the ages of four and eleven, and involves cutting some of the nerve fibers stretching between the muscles and spinal cord.
The negative response from the NHS did not stop the Tucker family from continuing to pursue this option for their daughter. Within seven months, the family was able to raise all the money that was needed for the surgery, physiotherapy and equipment which will be needed afterwards. “It’s brilliant, amazing. I can’t even describe how it feels to know we have got the money now and are just waiting for a date.”
Evie’s mother, Karissa Skidmore, 28, expressed her gratitude to everyone that helped them raise the money. “I didn’t think we would be able to do it so quickly and thought it would take about a year. Everyone has been amazing and I don’t think there was an event we had to plan for ourselves. People just rang us and said they were doing this and doing that and took over all of it, which was really helpful. For people to take that stress away from us was wonderful. There have been people we don’t even know who have donated a lot of money and we cannot thank them enough.”