Boy, 4, with cerebral palsy's 'only chance of walking' is life-changing operation

A four-year-old boy has been offered the chance to walk unaided for the first time in his life.

This is “the only chance he will have of walking” after Rossy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy aged one, said his family.

The operation will be funded by the NHS but the necessary physio post-op appointments cost £120.

Rossy’s family, from Carlshalton, Sutton, are now fundraising to give him the best chance at making a full recovery.

His family struggled to get a diagnosis for his symptoms for the first year of his life, and aunt Gemma Sherman, 39, claims they were dismissed at hospitals.

“He was diagnosed as having seizures, which the hospital didn’t pick up on,” she said. “They were just saying that he was a cry baby.

“We looked up on Google and realised, actually, this is a seizure. We had to basically diagnose ourselves.

“Eventually, we got a doctor to have a look at him. And they said, ‘Yes, he’s having seizures.'”

He was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy and epilepsy.

Rossy has to crawl everywhere and wears splints every day, along with shoes that are two sizes too big for him to fit over the splints.

He’s also unable to attend school.

Gemma explained: “He’s not in school where he should be because we couldn’t get the funding for a one to one – they only offer them for a certain amount of time, which is no good.

“So we’re actually going through the process of the courts and everything at the minute with that to get the funding so he can go full time.

“So the fact that he’s been offered the operation now is really good news.”

The operation, called selective dorsal rhizotomy, reduces spasticity (muscle stiffness) in cerebral palsy sufferers, enabling them to walk.

“He’s so intelligent and he’s like any bright little boy, [he] just goes in a room and just lights it up,” said Gemma.

“He loves football and he wants to be able to play football and run around.”

There are other things that the family are looking forward to seeing Rossy experience.

“When they gave him his walking frame and he was strapped into it, I’ll always remember him going into the hallway and he said, ‘Oh, wow’. I said, ‘What baby?’ and he said ‘I can finally reach the lights.’

“It’s silly little things like that, that a normal child would do for granted. And he’s like, ‘Yes, I can finally do this.'”

He hopes to one day play football professionally.

“He’s determined that he’s going to play football with Crystal Palace,” Gemma revealed.

The family are hosting a fundraiser prior to the operation next year and have set up a Gofundme to save up for the costly physio sessions, of which Rossy will need four a week.

What will it mean for the four-year-old to be able to have the operation?

“I think it will mean everything for him to be able to kick a ball and play with his cousins. I think it’ll be everything.

“Just life-changing, that is completely life-changing,” said Gemma.

Got a story you think we should write? Get in touch beth.gulliver@reachplc.com

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