A Staffordshire couple have launched a campaign to raise £50,000 and help their son fulfill his dream of walking unaided.
Henry Gibbs was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy in 2016 at the age of two and without specialist surgery and follow-up physiotherapy he faces regular leg casting throughout his life and ultimately will need a wheelchair.
“We began to notice that he was late with almost all of his development milestones, particularly sitting up and crawling,” says dad Jacob.
“Countless hospital appointments, CT and MRI scans later, finally receiving the diagnosis of cerebral palsy was difficult to take. Although by that stage we were expecting the outcome, hearing the consultant say the words was devastating.”
Henry’s cerebral palsy is the most common form, spastic diplegia, meaning that his legs are predominantly affected with only minor impact on his arms.
Henry’s legs have increased muscle tone – causing muscle stiffness, balance and co-ordination problems, which has left him unable to stand or walk independently.
“The spasticity causes a lot of pain and discomfort for Henry and means that even the simple things aren’t possible.
‘Our ultimate ambition is to raise the funding for Henry to have selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery and the necessary follow-up physiotherapy,” Jacob said.
“We have seen examples of the results from this surgery and the results were amazing.”
“The SDR treatment is not currently offered on the NHS, which is why we have launched our campaign – Stop Being Tight.”
There is no cure for Cerebral Palsy, but the five-hour SDR procedure stimulates the nerve endings in the spinal cord to separate the nerve roots – reducing tightness in the leg muscles.
Jacob, his wife Kerrie, of Stafford, and their friends and family will be taking on a number of charity events to raise funds, including the Stafford 10k on September 24th and a fun day on September 9th at Holmcroft Youth and Community Centre in Stafford.
They are also appealing to businesses to consider Just4Children and the Stop Being Tight campaign as their charity of the year.
For more information and to donate visit https://www.stopbeingtight.co.uk