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Life changing treatment helps 7-year-old Levi walk - but isn't available on the NHS

Levi is undergoing physiotherapy after his operation

The family of a seven-year-old boy from Reading who was told he'd have to spend the majority of his life in a wheelchair are calling for others to be allowed access to the treatment which has changed his life - and diagnosis for ever.

Levi Beckford is one of the thousands of children in the UK who have cerebral palsy. His family fought to raise funding for special surgery to help him walk, and he was lucky enough to be chosen for an NHS trial.

However, the medical trial has finished, and the treatment still isn't available on the NHS. Our reporter Sam Holder has been following Levi's story, and has been back to meet him and his family six months on from his life-changing operation.

The interviewees in the report are: Amanda Ward, Levi's mother; Sue Lower, Levi's NHS physiotherapist and Benedetta Pettorini, Consultant paediatric neurosurgeon at Alder Hey Hospital.

Levi's first steps after life-changing surgery

Levi Beckford suffers from cerebral palsy Credit: ITV Meridian

A 7 year-old from Reading has been told he could start walking thanks to life-changing surgery.

Levi Beckford has cerebral palsy but was given SDR treatment as part of a trial.

His family had fought for funding because the operation isn't available on the NHS. Luckily he was selected as part of a small trial for the treatment.

ITV Meridian spoke to Levi's Mum, Amanda Ward.


  1. Tom Savvides

Fundraising for 4-year old with Cerebral Palsy

Charlie Grainger treated for Cerebral Palsy Credit: Laura Grainger

Four year old twin Charlie Grainger, from Camberley in Surrey, suffers from Cerebral Palsy, a debilitating condition that affects muscle control and movement. It is usually caused by an injury to the brain before, during or after birth.

Children with cerebral palsy have difficulties in controlling muscles and movements as they grow and develop. For young Charlie, it has meant he has never walked like his twin brother.

Charlie’s Mum and Dad started fundraising in March 2012 when they discovered there was a surgery procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, which would remove the spasticity from his legs and give him the best opportunity of walking, but £60,000 would be needed.

With the support of friends, family and well wishers this target was achieved. However, as the operation isn't covered by the NHS, his dedicated parents still have to raise at least £8,000 for the specialist aftercare that is essential to allow Charlie to walk.

The local communities of Camberley and surrounding areas are now pulling together to help win £5000 in a contest run by Mountain Warehouse to help local boy Charlie Grainger to walk.

More information can be found at