The parents of a two-year old girl from Swindon, Wiltshire are fundraising £50,000 to help their daughter with cerebral palsy to walk for the first time.
Esme Kelly has the incurable condition spastic diplegia cerebral palsy – and in order to walk she requires the assistance of a frame. Due to bone deformities and stunted muscle growth, she also experiences constant leg pain.
However, Esme might gain the ability to walk if she is able to undergo life-changing surgery, called selective dorsal rhizotomy – which is unavailable on the NHS.
The procedure involves cutting damaged nerves in the lower spine, and would reduce Esme’s stiffness, giving her more freedom to walk.
In the hope of financing the surgery, her parents have set up a JustGiving page – which has currently raised more than £6,000 towards their £50,000 target.
Esme is very musical and loves the children’s musical Ballerina, which is about an 11-year old French girl whose dream is to be a ballet dancer, although she has no formal training.
Her parents say that Esme’s dream is to dance like her favourite Ballerina characters. Her seven-year old sister has taught Esme how to do the basic ballet move of a plié, which she does by standing on her tiptoes while using her walker.
“Esme has learned how to do a plié with her walker,” said her mother, Charlotte. “Her dream is to practice ballet and having the operation would help her achieve it.
“She loves soft play and going to the farm and doesn’t let the condition hold her back but it will get harder as she ages.
“Esme goes swimming every Monday with disabled children and instructors struggle to see any sign of disability when she’s in the water – she’s very capable.”