Reece to step out on road to recovery

Scott, Reece, Jillian and Millie Cameron.
Scott, Reece, Jillian and Millie Cameron.

DESPITE being born with a crippling muscle disorder which causes him to often collapse to the ground, Reece Cameron gets on with his life with a steely determination.

When he was aged just 18-months, Reece was diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, a condition which has caused his leg muscles to severely tighten.

This means the nine-year-old has to walk on his tip-toes, regularly causing him to lose his balance and fall.

However, the Kennoway lad looks set to become the first child in Fife, and only the second in Scotland, to under-go a revolutionary treatment into the condition.

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy is new to the UK and permanently eliminates high muscle tone by cutting damaged nerves in the spine, leaving the healthy ones to carry the correct signals from the brain to the muscles.

If successful, it would enable Reece to walk on his flat feet for the first time.

Mum Jillian told the Mail: “Reece has a good understanding of his condition and his limitations.

“He asks a lot more questions which are heart-breaking because he is now becoming more negative in his outlook of things.

“He tells me that his friends are all having fun and he can’t, that he never wins races and nobody plays with him.

“On the other side of that, however, Reece has always had his own mind.

“He set his first goal that he would walk by himself when he was five-years-old.

“Reece took his first few steps at five and he hasn’t looked back.”

The cost of Reece’s treatment won’t come cheap, with the family, which also includes dad Scott and eight-year-old little sister Millie, facing a potential bill of £64,000 to fund the operation and subsequent three year programme of physiotherapy.

Of that total £24,000 would be the cost of the operation while the rest would be for the after-care.

It’s reckoned it would take around six months after the operation for Reece to reach the same level of mobility as he is now.

After that he would likely lose spasticity in his limbs, would walk better, would have better balance and would be able to run.

Until lately the procedure was only carried out at St Louis Hospital, Missouri, US, by Dr T. S. Park.

Recently, though, it’s been introduced at a hospital in Bristol.

Added Jillian: “We are currently being referred to the Fife NHS board team which will make the final decision on whether it will fund the operation.

“We are keeping hopeful that this will be a ‘yes’ which would then reduce the amount we would need to fundraise.”

The NHS would not fund the physio treatment, so the family has started a fundraising mission.

NHS boards across Scotland have agreed on a criteria for referring children to Bristol, however, not all NHS trusts have put this in front of their executive boards for approval yet.

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