£60k raised to help toddler walk

A family in Cross Keys say they have had 'overwhelming' support, raising £60,000 to pay for their two-year-old daughter to have an operation in America to help her to walk. Maisie Cooper has cerebral palsy. The surgery is not available in Wales.

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Welsh Govt: 'lack of evidence' over SDR

The Welsh Government says the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy operation, which Maisie is due to have in the USA, is "not routinely commissioned by the NHS here because there is a lack of clinical evidence at this time to support the treatment."

It has also recently stopped being commissioned in England.

I have every sympathy with families who have children with cerebral palsy and fully appreciate their desire to pursue treatment they feel could improve their child's life.

SDR is not routinely commissioned by the NHS because the Welsh Health Specialised Services Committee's conclusion is that there is a lack of clinical evidence at this time to support the treatment. This is consistent with the National Institute of Clinical Excellence’s (NICE) view that further research into this procedure and measurement of long term outcomes should take place.

NHS England has announced a 'commissioning through evaluation' process to fully assess the effectiveness of SDR in order to inform its future use. Plans for this evaluation are at an early stage, and our intention in Wales is to be part of that process.

If clinicians in Wales consider a treatment, which is not approved by NICE, would benefit their patient, they can still apply for the treatment via the Individual Patient Funding Request.

– Mark Drakeford, Welsh Government Health Minister


Parents hope surgery means Maisie can lead normal life

Maisie Cooper struggles to walk, because of her cerebral palsy.

Her parents noticed something was wrong when she was unable to sit up by the age of one.

A specialist confirmed she had spastic diplegia, which means stiffness in her leg muscles, causing discomfort and pain.

In just six months of fundraising, they have raised more than £60,000 through what her family describe as "overwhelming" support.

Next spring, they plan to take her to America to have an operation known as Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, which they hope will allow her to live a normal life.

Family reach £60,000 target to help their little girl walk

Maisie Cooper with mum Hayley and dad Gareth Credit: ITV News/Tom Sheldrick

A two-year-old girl from Cross Keys near Newport is set to undergo pioneering surgery in America to help her walk.

Maisie Cooper suffers from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy. Six months ago her parents, Hayley and Gareth, set out to raise the £60,000 needed for an operation to help her walk. Now they're set to take little Maisie to Missouri for the life-changing operation.


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