A DEDICATED Kirkcaldy family are preparing their young son for a serious operation they hope will give him a much brighter future.
Six-year-old Robbie Ovenstone of Park Road is set to have an implant put in his brain in November to try to reverse the effects of a condition which has left the youngster unable to dress, eat or play like other boys his age.
Robbie, a P2 pupil at St Marie’s Primary, has child onset dystonia, a common neurological movement disorder characterised by involuntary muscle contractions or spasms.
In his case it affects one of his arms and one leg which both turn in on themselves and cause balance and movement problems.
Following physical and mental tests and scans on the youngster, carried out at the Evelina Children’s Hospital in London several weeks ago, the family have been told that deep brain stimulation would be a suitable treatment for their son whose condition is only going to worsen.
And, following the five-day trip, in which Robbie was given a full assessment on what he is able to do and how his condition is restricting him, and meeting someone who has undergone the operation, the family are convinced it is the right way forward.
Dougie Ovenstone (46), Robbie’s dad, who has given up his job to care for his son, said: “The main turning point for us was meeting a girl who had had a deep brain stimulation implant.
“She too had had dystonia since about Robbie’s age and, like him it had taken several years for it to be diagnosed, but she didn’t have the operation until she was 15, by which time she was badly affected – she couldn’t speak or swallow properly, she was confined to a wheelchair, and one of her arms was permanently fixed behind her back.
“She said the operation had completely transformed her life and she is now about to go to university. She is leading a completely independent life, which is what we want for Robbie.
“She answered all our questions quite openly and it really put our minds at ease and helped us decide that this is the way we have to go to give Robbie the best possible quality of life.”
A provisional date of November 8 has been set for Robbie’s operation.