Friday, May 10, 2013

Boy with Cerebral Palsy Takes First Steps after Life-changing Operation

Boy with Cerebral Palsy Takes First Steps after 
Life-changing Operation

Abe Astur, 2, (pictured with his mother Leigh) was born with spastic diplegia which tightened his leg muscles and restricted his movementA two-year-old with cerebral palsy has taken his first steps after undergoing a life-changing operation.
Abe Astur has spastic diplegia which tightened his leg muscles, restricted his movement and, until recently, forced him to use a walking frame.
His family raised £50,000 to pay for him to have a selective dorsal rhizotomy operation, in the U.S. because the procedure is not widely available in the UK.
The operation involves severing the nerves in the spine that send messages to paralyse the leg muscles. With the tensed muscles free to resume normal movement, the patient is then able to walk.
Abe’s mother Leigh, 35, from Winchester, Hampshire, said: ‘We are thrilled it went well.
‘It’s now a case of building up Abe’s muscles he has never used before and we are pleased we went through with the operation in America.
‘His surgeon says Abe will walk independently within six months of the procedure.
‘This is the best prognosis we could have wished for and Abe has been amazing.
‘The surgery was tough and we spent a week in the hospital in St Louis, Missouri, as part of a month out there.
‘But because he is so young he didn’t fully understand what was going on and he accepted everything and handled it very well.’
Ms Astur added that the surgeons believed Abe will even be able to play sports in the future.
She said: ‘This procedure should be more accessible and medical people should be more knowledgeable in the UK.
‘It’s an operation which parents in England should be aware of but it’s just so difficult to get funding.
‘We have been talking to Steve Brine, Winchester MP, about taking this issue to Parliament and he has been a fantastic help.
‘It makes my blood boil to think children have grown up with difficulty when they could have had this operation.
‘Hopefully between us we can change another child’s life by alerting people to this procedure.’
The family, including Abe’s father Gavin, 38, and sister Thea, four, held a party to thank people who donated towards the cost of the operation.

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