Leah’s all packed and raring to go!

All my bags are packed: Leah is looking forward to her trip to America and can't wait to run with her friends when she gets home.
All my bags are packed: Leah is looking forward to her trip to America and can't wait to run with her friends when she gets home.

A PETERHEAD family are making the final preparations for a life-changing journey to America, which will begin on August 19.

Leah Ligertwood, along with her mum Nicola and dad Richie will make the 19-hour trip to St. Louis, the place where she will be given the freedom to walk, run and dance.

After the family launched an appeal in March to help pay for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, they were inundated with support from the folk of Peterhead and smashed their target of £40,000, with Leah’s fund now sitting in the region of £103,000.

Nicola said: “Both Richie and I are so overwhelmed, we will be forever grateful to the people who have supported us and we can’t say thank you enough.”

The three will be at the St Louis hospital until September 18 until Leah undergoes some intense physiotherapy and recovers from her surgery.

“We’ve been following the story of a little boy from England who has just had the surgery and Leah’s very clued up about what’s going to happen. She’s really excited and keeps saying she can’t wait to run fast.”

Leah will undergo her surgery on August 23, spend two days in intensive care and begin her physio on day four. It’s expected for her to be walking again by day seven, but in some cases it has happened as early as day four.

“I can’t see Leah forgetting how to walk, so I think she will be quite quick to get up on her feet again.

“I don’t think she’ll cry, she’s never been a moan when it comes to her health, and just seems to battle on.”

Nicola added: “We hope she’s thankful for everyone who donated, she’s loved meeting everyone and hopefully we can give her an idea of everything that went on. We’re going to try and create a blog while we’re there to keep everyone updated but it will depend on how much time we have.

“It’s also important to us that we’ve been able to raise awareness of the SDR operation and there’s been parents we’ve spoken to that didn’t even know about the operation, there’s a campaign ongoing to have the operation more available in the UK.”

The family would like to extend their thanks to their family and friends, New Hope Trust, the Hilton, George Cordiner and Lynne-Marie and Scott Maskame who between them raised more than £10,000.

Also, to everyone who went along and supported all of the many fundraising. events