Brave George flies to US for ‘first steps’ op
14:07 17 October 2012
Braunton youngster given the chance to walk with life-changing surgery.
A FIVE-year-old boy is undergoing surgery in America this week to give him the chance of being able to walk for the first time.
As the Gazette went to press yesterday (Tuesday) cerebral palsy sufferer George Palmer, from Braunton, was having what his parents hope will be a life-changing operation at the St Louis Children’s Hospital, in Missouri.
The three-hour selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) procedure involves cutting away the nerve endings that do not work properly.
The surgery is not automatically available on the NHS and parents Nicki and Gary launched a fund-raising appeal to help pay for the treatment.
They managed to raise just over £80,000 which will also pay for on-going therapy for the next seven years.
The family flew out to Chicago on Friday and visited the hospital on Monday for a pre-op with specialist surgeon Dr Park.
Nicki said: “After a long evaluation Dr Park said George is very stiff in his legs but he was pleased to see the movement George was capable of doing.
“He says surgery will really help George – he will be able to sit on a chair or stool, his scissoring will stop, his left arm will really improve and he will walk with a frame in all environments.
“He will need a wheelchair for distances but should be able to move on to sticks at some point.”