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Guildford mum launches appeal in fight to help daughter walk

3 minute read
Guildford mum launches appeal in fight to help daughter walk

Published at 6:00am 23rd January 2018. (Updated at 4:23pm 23rd January 2018)

A mum from Guildford is appealing for help as her little girl struggles to walk.

Jessica Simmonds' two year old daughter has Cerebral Palsy Spastic Diplegia after being diagnosed at the age of 15 months.

The developmental disorder is caused by damage to the brain before birth, during delivery, or within the first few years of life - and prevents the normal development of motor function.

It is characterized by jerky movements, muscle tightness and joint stiffness.

It means Millie has very stiff legs and cannot walk - and could end up in a wheelchair.

Jessica told Eagle it is tough watching Millie trying to walk: "She tries so hard - she really, really wants to walk.

"She just can't quite figure out how to do it.

"It's just her little legs - they just let her down."

Jessica said Millie is determined - even trying to copy  her baby sister who is learning to walk: "Even though she has cerebral palsy, she's always got a smile on her face, constantly wants to try new things, and she has overcome so much so far.

"She is just amazing."

The mum of four said all she wants is for Millie to be able to run around and play like other children her age:  "It is really hearbreaking, it breaks my heart.

"But it's one of those things - you've got to be strong, you're a mum.

"With Millie, you've just got to carry on.

"I've got other children who need me as well, so I've got to be strong for them and be strong for Millie."

Millie's condition cannot be cured, but there is treatment to reduce stiffness and improve mobility, called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).

While it is available on the NHS, Jessica said it is not routinely funded by the health service and only a select number of places are offered each year as a clinical trial. She said there is also a very long waiting list.

Jessica's now fundraising to get Millie SDR faster, in the US, where she said it is offered as a mainstream treatment.

The family needs £90,000 to pay for surgery, recuperation, rehabilitation and post-operative equipment.

Jessica and her friends and family are planning various fundraising activities, including a summer ball, and are seeking donations, as well as support from local businesses.

You can donate here - and you can follow Millie's progress on Facebook. 

 

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