28th Jun, 2022

Sophie's vital surgery would be an early Christmas present

Coventry Editorial 25th Sep, 2014 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

THE FAMILY of a young disabled girl who has been waiting months for a potentially life-changing operation are dreaming of a perfect Christmas after finally being given a date for the surgery.

Sophie Sharman 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, who attends Sherbourne Fields School in Coundon, 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.

This sparked a courageous fund-raising campaign which raised an astonishing £18,000.

And all being well the family have been told Sophie’s operation will now take place on October 10.

“We’re absolutely over the moon,” said Natalie, who married partner Gaz in Nuneaton on Saturday with Sophie playing a key part as a bridesmaid.

“It’s brilliant that we’ve now got a date. Sophie will go in for a pre-op on October 7 and then providing all the right people are in she’ll have the operation at 9am on October 10.

“It’s such a big relief for us. We’ve been overwhelmed by all of the support and donations

“We’re glad we got this date because we didn’t want it running over Christmas. It gives her enough time to recover and enjoy Christmas this year.”

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.

And although the family has been given a date for the operation, they know the hard work continues.

Natalie added: “The operation cost £17,000 but we’ve got to fund her physiotherapy for the next three years.

“This is just the beginning for us in terms of fundraising. She’ll get some help through sessions at her school but we need to continue raising money.

“She’s never actually walked and we’ve not ruled that out.

“We’ve said if she can crawl by herself and get some independence that would be fantastic.”

For more information about Sophie or to donate funds towards her physiotherapy search for ‘Help Get Sophie’s op’ on Facebook.

Sophie Sharman has been denied life-changing surgery to help her walk. 09.014.010.cov.nc1

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