December 6 2013 Latest news:
Lizzie Dearden, Reporter
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
A 10-year-old girl with cerebral palsy may be able to walk unaided for the first time if her family raise £36,000 for a life-changing operation.
Esha Ilyas, of Mortlake Road, Ilford, was diagnosed with the disease as a toddler and cannot stand without help.
She uses a frame to walk and needs a wheelchair for longer distances.
Esha has been in and out of hospital for painful treatment ever since she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a toddler.
She wears splints on her legs and plaster casts on her ankles all day and her legs are tightly bound at night.
Courses of Botox injections temporarily relax the muscles that make it difficult to walk but the effects soon wear off.
As she prepares to go to secondary school at Loxford School of Science and Technology, her dream is to be able to walk with her friends.
Esha said: “I would be able to go in the bath by myself and when I wake up in the morning I won’t have that much pain in my legs.
“The think I most want to do is swim better, I like swimming.”
Mum Manisha Modhvadia said she NHS refused to pay for the selective dorsal rhizotomy, where nerves between the muscles and spinal cord are cut to loosen muscles and improve her posture, balance and movement.
The family needs to raise £36,000 themselves to pay for the surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital and physiotherapy.
Manisha said: “She doesn’t like having to wear her splints every day because they slow her down and she can’t do the things other children do.
“They can run around and kick a ball but the lack of balance means she can’t do simple things like making a cup of tea.
“She’s getting to the age now where she wants to do things for herself and I want her to be independent.
“I really believe this operation can change her life.”
Esha’s family hope she will be able to have the operation by March so she will be able to walk by the time she starts at her new school.
To donate towards the operation, visit www.eshasdreamtowalk.org.uk.