A GLENROTHES couple have launched a major fundraising drive to pay for pioneering surgery in America to help their daughter walk again.
Katie Bird (28) and Grant Neilson (37), of Shiel Court, are aiming to raise over £40,000 so they can take their little girl Kayla to the States for the operation.
Kayla was born ten weeks premature and diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy shortly before her first birthday.
As a result, the two-year-old is unable to use her legs and has to wear splints.
She has physiotherapy twice a week, visits a consultant every few weeks and has regular scans.
Katie said: “When she was born she had to spend the first few weeks in the neonatal unit.
“On the day she was discharged they did an ultrasound on her brain and discovered it was damaged.
“When she wasn’t meeting her developmental milestones, I realised it was something more than her just being born premature.
“But I am glad she is here - disability or not. She is such a wee character and is very clever.
“It’s really hard as a parent to watch her because she gets frustrated when there are thing she wants to do but she just can’t do them.”
Katie and Grant are pinning their hopes on life-changing surgery carried out by Dr TS Park at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri.
The procedure involves cutting nerve roots which are causing the spasticity in the limbs of children with Cerebral Palsy.
Katie continued: “The operation is available on the NHS at a hospital in Bristol but it is only done on children over the age of six.
“I don’t want to wait until Kayla is older because by that time her muscles may have already started to fuse and once this happens nothing can be done.
“Dr Park has performed this surgery on thousands of children and he has a 100 per cent success rate.”
Katie said they have been speaking to the team in America and been told Kayla is suitable for the procedure:
“We have some ideas for fundraising including a sponsored skydive and sponsored walk.
“I am hopeful it will all come together and we can get to America - but no matter how long it takes we are determined to do this.”
>> Donate at justgiving.com/catherine-bird