The family of a Peterhead boy suffering from a form of cerebal palsy has begun a campaign to raise money for a life-changing operation.
Two-year-old Dylan Parsons was diagnosed with spastic diplegia earlier this year and may need to travel to America to undergo corrective surgery on his spine.
The condition, the most common form of cerebal palsy, has left Dylan unable to walk normally because the muscles in his hips and legs are unusually tight.
Dylan’s parents, Jenna and Wayne have set up Facebook and JustGiving pages as part of their ‘Step Up For Dylan’ campaign to raise £50,000 for a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).
The operation involves cutting some of the sensory nerves in the lower spinal column to reduce stiffness, cramps and spasms.
Dylan’s mum Jenna, 30, said: “We noticed his feet kept coming up and he was walking on his tiptoes.
“We went to a chiropractor and a private physiotherapist. They believed it might be spastic diplegia and this was confirmed by a consultant.
“The signals going to the muscles in his legs are too tight causing his feet to lift off.
“He can walk round the house for a few steps but he falls when he walks outside.
“Fingers crossed we can get the money to give Dylan this life-changing operation, otherwise he could end up in a wheelchair permanently.”
An MRI scan earlier this year showed scarring on Dylan’s brain caused by a lack of oxygen.
Doctors believe this is the result of Dylan having a distressed premature birth.
Although not all children with spastic diplegia qualify for the operation, Dylan has been offered the treatment by a leading expert at St Louis Children’s Hospital.
In a letter to Mr and Mrs Parsons, chief neurosurgen T.S. Park wrote: “We feel Dylan is an excellent candidate for the rhizotomy surgery and that the permanent reduction in abnormal muscle tone will help him significantly.
“We have seen consitent improvement in children very similar to him.”
Dylan’s surgery is scheduled for April 2014 and Mrs Parsonss hopes to have raised the necessary money by March of next year.
With the help of the charity Aberdeen and Shire Community Therapy Group, the Parsons family have organised fundraising events including a craft fair and indoor car boot sale at Rescue Hall, a home and gift fair in Mintlaw and a Peterhead Boxing Club fight night in Ellon.
Mrs Parsons also praised the management of the Waterside Hotel for helping to arrange several events including a children’s fancy dress party at the venue. She would also like to thank Martin Der Lee and Liz Gauld for their help.
For more information on the events and campaign visit www.facebook.com/StepUpForDylan.
To donate online please visit http://www.justgiving.com/Liz-Gauld