Just4Children needs your support for Sam aged 4 from Leeds. Sam has to travel to America in August 2020 for two operations to improve his mobility – Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) and orthopaedic surgery on this calf muscle.
Sam is funny, loving, brave and a very enthusiastic fireman! He is a ray of sunshine.
Sam’s main loves are firstly his big brother Gabriel who he harasses and idolises in equal measure and, secondly being a fireman – something in our house is forever being “put out” or rescued!
Sam has Spastic Hemiplegic Cerebral Palsy. In August 2020, with your help, he will travel to America for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery.
Sam was born prematurely at 28 weeks and was critically ill fighting listeria, sepsis, meningitis and other conditions. He survived against the odds but unfortunately, suffered brain damage.
Sam’s hemiplegia affects his whole right side. The damage causes spasticity in his arm and leg so his muscles are continuously contracted and his limbs tight and stiff. Sam has limited use of his hand and arm impacting all basic daily activities. Sam walks on his toes. Some days we struggle to bend his right ankle to put his splint on. He has poor balance and coordination so falls a lot and has painful muscle spasms. He can walk but some days not far, often he needs carrying upstairs to bed.
Sam has a 10 -12 month learning delay. He gets very tired. All that said, he is so tough, rarely crying during the painful daily stretching and physio.
SDR will be life-changing for Sam. It will permanently reduce the spasticity in his leg. This is so important – he will always have to contend with the challenges with learning and his arm and hand. Our main motivation is Sam’s future. Over time spasticity shortens the muscles and tendons and leads to joint deformities. This is known as premature ageing. He has a wheelchair now to help with pain and fatigue. We don’t want him using it more and more.
The increased target means that rather than funding for just one year’s post-operative physio and equipment, we will be able to make sure Sam has this support for a further two years. The post-operative rehabilitation is essential and as important as the surgery. The additional funds will make a massive difference to Sam.
We want Sam to struggle less. We are so full of love and pride for our brave and resilient little boy and his achievements.
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