Cerebral Palsy Operation by The Portland Hospital Allows a Boy to Stand Properly for the First Time

Aug 03, 2015, 13:04 ET from The Portland Hospital

LONDON, August 3, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --

At the 11th hour, London's Portland Hospital waved the shortfall of Jude Liversage's campaign so the seven-year-old football fanatic could stand normally for the first time.

     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150803/254228 )

     (Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20150803/254229 )

The Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) procedure reduced the spasticity in Jude's legs allowing him to carry out his wish to kick a ball around like his schoolmates.

The estimated cost of a SDR procedure in Britain is currently between £30,000 and £40,000, and despite fundraising schemes with the help of Chelsea F.C. and Stoke City F.C., Jude's family had raised less than half the money - until the SDR team at The Portland stepped in.

Jude underwent the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy after years of struggling to walk, run and play his beloved football. And thanks to the treatment administered by consultant paediatric neurosurgeon Mr Kristian Aquilina, Jude should now avoid having to spend his adult life in a wheelchair.

Seven-year-old Jude now hopes to play an active role in football matches and school sports days - something he couldn't fully enjoy until this surgery was performed. Jude's father is very excited about what the future now holds for his son.

"It really is remarkable and gives us hope that after a period of rehabilitation Jude will be able to be more mobile and more independent and eventually be able to kick a ball around like other kids."

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) is a neurosurgical procedure designed to reduce tightness in the legs and ankles of cerebral palsy sufferers. Only around 25 percent of children aged between 4 and 10 may be able to benefit from the procedure, and those who do can expect their life to change beyond all recognition after a period of intense physiotherapy.

Jude's family placed him on an NHS waiting list for the procedure, but they were fearful that he'd be too old for surgery once it was available. The only viable alternatives were to either travel to the USA for the procedure or pay to have it performed privately in the UK.

Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon Kristian Aquilina has extensive experience in neurosurgical procedures - gained in the USA, Bristol and at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Janene Madden is the Chief Executive of The Portland Hospital, and she explained that Jude was the perfect patient throughout his treatment.

"We heard the extraordinary story of this football loving boy, the absolute dedication of his family and the support of Jude's football heroes and it touched everyone's hearts. We knew if anyone could help it was Kristian Aquilina and our brilliant SDR team.

"Jude has been a real star and we are all delighted he is making such good progress."

About The Portland 

The Portland is the UK's number one private healthcare facility for children and women. A team of 600 specialist consultants and nursing staff use the very latest technology to deliver exceptional levels of care and treatment in the fields of obstetrics, paediatrics and gynaecology.

SOURCE The Portland Hospital