A YOUNG disabled girl is a step closer to having a potentially life-changing operation after a spirited fund-raising campaign raised £12,000 in four months.
Sophie Sharman, a Sherbourne Fields School pupil in Coundon, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when she was just eight-weeks-old and has struggled with muscular pains her entire life.
The 11-year-old was expected to have free Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery earlier this year at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham to help her walk.
But – as the Observer reported back in February – her mother Natalie Ryder was told the NHS would not pay for the operation, sparking a fund-raising campaign to hit the £12,000 target.
And just four months on, Natalie revealed her thanks to everyone who had helped reach the milestone and make Sophie’s dream of being able to move about by herself come true.
“I’m really surprised that we’ve managed to raise such a large amount of money in such a short space of time and we’re all just really thankful,” she said.
“It’s quite scary to know people are willing to donate money to a young girl they’ve never met before.
“We received large donations off the Boparan Charitable Trust and the Round Table group and on a charity evening we had one old lady kindly donate £1,000 which was an amazing gesture.
“It reminds you that are lots of really generous people out there.”
Sophie was one of 30 children from across the Midlands whose parents claim were let down by the NHS.
In February the Nottingham hospital told us the funding process for the treatment had changed.
The SDR operation aims to reduce levels of spasticity in the legs and is followed by an intensive period of physiotherapy. The objective is to make the person become more mobile and independent.
Natalie told the Observer she was meeting specialists this week to discuss when the operation can take place.
“I’ve been told that it could take around two months but she’ll need lots of physiotherapy after that which is what some of the money will go towards.
“This is a really important operation for Sophie. Even if she can learn to crawl it gives her a chance to move independently and puts an end to all the pain.”
For more information about Sophie or to donate funds towards her physiotherapy search for ‘Help Get Sophie’s op’ on Facebook.