My name is Joshua. I’m 9 years old and live in Portishead near Bristol. I need your help to take my pain away and brighten my future!
I joined the party we call ‘life’ a little earlier than planned. 11 weeks and 5 days too early to be precise. I was a very small baby and had to continue to develop and grow in hospital for several months whilst I battled chronic lung disease and a constant risk of infection.
This crazy and unorthodox springboard into the world of existence has brought with it complications and really should come with a “Don’t Try This At Home” advisory warning! Even though the NICU team fought day and night to protect me, an infection caught hold and managed to damage a small potion of my brain. As a result, I was subsequently diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy – Spastic Diplegia in my lower body.
To the untrained eye it probably just seems like I just walk on my tip toes. In truth however every day is a challenge. The muscles in my lower body are extremely ‘tight’ and I have problem moving in the same way as normal children do. As I grow the tightness and misalignment is putting undue pressure on my joints ranging from my hips through to my knees and my ankles. I’m always in an element of discomfort and as I grow this will increase as my mobility deteriorates.
This hasn’t stopped my enjoying life although it comes with it’s complications and challenges. I love sport; especially football. Just running to keep up with the play or changing direction can be a real struggle and at points painful, especially in the cold. Despite this, I’m determined to be normal and I just get on with things as all those in my Football Club, School and Cub Pack well know. I’m happy and content, live in the most amazing town and have a loving family around me.
Recently my mum and dad found out there is a fantastic operation that can eliminate a majority of my symptoms. They’ve explained it will dramatically reduce the chances of me having to deal with conditions such as hip dislocations, severe joint problems and arthritis all of which are common for people dealing with my condition.
The operation is conducted in Bristol and *here’s the science bit* through spinal surgery and by severing sensory nerve roots the neurosurgeons can relieve the spasticity in my legs. I’ve had an initial assessment and get this… I’m a prime candidate to obtain the maximum benefit from this pioneering procedure.
As a result of the renewed flexibility, I’ll also need intensive physiotherapy to reprogram my muscles after the operation. Portishead Town U9’s may need to draft in Neuer from Bayern Munich on loan whilst I go through this process.
Unfortunately, even though the operation has been conducted hundreds of times with amazing success our NHS will not currently fund the operation. This is where you all come in. Please can you help my Mum and Dad raise the funds for the operation and post operative care. I know many of you already have loads of ideas on how you can raise the visibility of the campaign and I really do believe we can hit the target which will allow me to be the boy I know I’m capable of being and make every one of you as proud as I already make my Mum Dad and brother Kasey every day.
I would be lying if I said I wasn’t scared or anxious about the operation and what pathway destiny has in store for me. My Mum and Dad are supporting me to understand the procedure and how the operation will most definitely benefit my future development.
So that’s a little bit about me, my journey so far and why I’ve chosen to ask you to join me on my mission and help fix me.
Please read my full story