Joshua's SDR Journey

Hi, my name is Joshua, I'm 7 years old and live in Dumfriesshire with mum, dad and sister Edith. Just4Childen needs your help to raise money for a life changing operation called SDR to help my independence and mobility.

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Joshua is 7 years old and lives near Canonbie in Dumfriesshire. He was born 2 months early weighing only 3lb 14oz. At 1 year old he was sent for an MRI scan because he wasn’t reaching milestones. This revealed he had Cerebral Palsy and as time went on we learnt the type of CP was Diplegic – affecting Joshua’s legs. 

Joshua has a love of life and is always smiling and cracking jokes. Physiotherapy and stretching are daily in his life. He goes through such a lot, from early morning stretches and muscle strengthening exercises before school, and all repeated throughout the day. Occasionally Joshua can wake in the night distressed and upset with extremely painful cramp in his leg muscles. This is awful for us all. 

We need to raise £21,000 for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery that aims to reduce spasticity in the lower limbs. SDR is effective in treating spasticity by cutting the nerve rootlets in the spinal canal that are sending abnormal signals to the muscles. SDR intends to improve quality of life and/or mobility in children affected by it. 

It has been a long process in getting to this stage, starting when Joshua was only 2 years old. Unfortunately, after many tests, assessments and meetings over the years, it was decided that Joshua did not fit the strict criteria for SDR in Scotland. We didn’t let that stop us, we went for a 2nd opinion at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital where they told us it was a ‘no brainer’ and they would perform the life changing operation on Joshua! But with us living in Scotland we do not qualify under the NHS England’s criteria and therefore must fund the operation ourselves.

Further funds would be used for the extremely important post op period, of which a minimum of two years intense physio is needed. Specialist equipment could be required by Joshua in the coming years too.

We believe SDR would give Joshua the best quality of life possible.

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