Thomas standing tall after surgery
Just over eight weeks ago five-year-old Thomas, who was born with celebral palsy, underwent specialist neurological surgery to help reduce the spasticity (muscle stiffness) in his body caused by the condition.
Now his parents Lee and Jo, who live in Cabus, near Garstang, say they owe a massive thanks to the community who have supported them and helped raise more than £35,000 for Thomas’s care.
Jo said: “It is just amazing and the every day differences this surgery has done for Thomas and for us all as a family.
“Little every day things at one time we didn’t think possible and Thomas is getting stronger and has been so, so good throughout his surgery, his physio, we’re just very proud.”
A huge fundraising effort, backed by friends, local supporters and a loyal following on social media through Treatment for Thomas Facebook page saw the family smash their original target of raising £25,000.
Thomas, who attends Pear Tree Specialist School in Kirkham, was admitted to Alder Hey in mid-July for the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery, at a cost of £16,000.
The operation took three and a half hours and was followed with three weeks of intensive physiotherapy and a further recovery programme during the summer holidays.
Jo added: “Straight after the surgery Thomas was quite weak and those early weeks of intense physio were to get him back to where he was.
“With the money raised we have been able to have private physio, working with Thomas through the holidays. Then there is the work we do with him from getting dressed to hydrotherapy - and he will start his horse riding again in three weeks.
“It has all made such a massive difference and while we knew it was unlikely Thomas would ever walk, his legs are now much more relaxed.
“There are little things we’ve noticed like him now using his arms to grasp when he is being carried, he couldn’t do that before.
“Because of the muscles being so tight, everything pulled him in, following his surgery he is actually taller and we’ve been able to alter his walking frame and take away some of that support he needed.”
Jo says it has been an emotional journey since the launch of their campaign to fund Thomas’s treatment in October last year. In February the couple welcomed another addition with the birth of baby Matthew, now six months.
She said: “After making the final decision to push for the surgery, complications with my pregnancy meant I was then put on bed rest, which wasn’t exactly ideal with the fundraising.
“But we were just overwhelmed by the support from friends, family, local businesses, and the community.
“My dad was out delivering collection tubs, my brother was helping with marketing everything and I was on the laptop putting what I could on the Facebook page. I don’t know how but it all came together and we’re so grateful.”