1. ITV Report

Family of a girl with cerebral palsy is raising money for a life-changing surgery

Alannah's parents hope to raise up to £90,000 to get her to the USA for the life-changing surgery. Photo: BPM

Family of a young girl who suffers from cerebral palsy say they are raising up to £90,000 for a life-changing surgery in the United States.

Four-year-old Alannah Fitzpatrick from Basford, Nottingham suffered a bleed to the brain which left her with cerebral palsy and unable to speak.

She was born eight weeks early and spent her first two months in an intensive care neo-natal unit.

The bleed on her brain happened during the early moments of her life. It is now painful for Alannah to walk, or even sit.

Alannah was born eight weeks early and suffered the bleeding on her brain in the early moments of her life. Credit: BPM

Moreover, Alannah has little control over her arms and legs and cannot sit, crawl or play unattended.

Her dad Damien has described the heartbreaking story:

Alannah also cannot talk as her head and mouth muscles are also affected. If you met her, she is always smiling and is a lovely, angelic child. As a parent I just want to give her the best opportunity in life to help her live a normal life. At the moment she can't walk or speak and we have to blend her food for her as she cannot chew. As a parent it's difficult as I want to help her and take the pain away but there's not much you can do. You do worry for her future when I'm eventually not here to help - I want her to be as independent as possible.

– Damien Fitzpatrick, Alannah's dad

The family says it is fundraising for a surgery that could change her life.

The SDR (Selective dorsal rhizotomy) surgery is a procedure that treats muscle spasms by working on the spinal cord. This could, in theory, enable Alannah to walk pain-free.

The surgery could change Alannah's life. Credit: BPM

Her family hopes to raise £90,000 to get her to the United States so she can walk and live in less pain, and have a more independent childhood.

The parents have added:

This treatment is so important for Alannah for her independence and dignity. She is stubborn and knows what she wants, and it would be great to see her growing up without getting frustrated by her physical limitations."

– Alannah's parents