Olivia’s SDR Journey

Olivia is 4 from Wolverhampton and has Cerebral Palsy and is due to have SDR surgery to reduce the spasticity in her lower limbs. Just4Children hopes to support her intensive rehabilitation therapies for several years post op.

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Olivia is 4 from Wolverhampton and has Cerebral Palsy and is due to have SDR surgery to reduce the spasticity in her lower limbs. Just4Children hopes to support her intensive rehabilitation therapies for several years post op.

Olivia was born at 30 weeks with her identical twin Jorgie. They were both very poorly and spent a considerable amount of time in neonatal. Having many illnesses and having to be ventilated in intensive care, they both had bleeds on the brain which left Olivia with white matter on her brain.

Due to Olivia not meeting the milestones her sister had, she had an MRI scan which confirmed she had Cerebral Palsy and a development delay. We manage it as best we possibly can, which involves many trips to hospitals and physio sessions around the UK.

After a very intense assessment of Olivia at Alderhey Hospital in Liverpool, she was lucky enough to fit the criteria for SDR Surgery. Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy is a surgical procedure that aims to reduce spasticity in the lower limbs. Olivia has a lot of spasticity, a result of an abnormal communication between the brain and the nerves. SDR is effective in treating spasticity by cutting the nerve rootlets in the spinal canal that are sending abnormal signals to the muscles. SDR is not a cure for cerebral palsy, but will improve her quality of life and mobility.

SDR is a complex surgical procedure followed by a very intensive rehabilitation period. So, the procedure will just be the start of a long journey for Olivia. We will not see immediate improvements post surgery, but we should start seeing progress after a very intense 2 year physio programme.

Olivia will spend 4 weeks in Liverpool hospital 2 hours away from home, where we will be trying to make everyday life as normal as possible for Jorgie.

Once she is discharged, the hard work then starts with intense physio sessions. Olivia participates in many activities already, but we need to up the game, as the best outcomes come from incredible hard work!

We are fundraising for Just4Children so that we can access all of the rehabilitation that will be essential to Olivia in her recovery.

Olivia is a very determined little girl who has been through so much already. Please give your support.

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