BRAVE youngster Noah Woolford – who has cerebral palsy – could be chosen for a £24,000 pioneering operation to help him walk.
The four-year-old’s mum Jean says doctors consider Noah a “suitable candidate” for the specialist operation and physiotherapy treatment – costing an additional £20,000 – at Leeds General Infirmary.
The Little Preston family has so far raised around £20,000 to pay for the surgery and two-year physiotherapy aftercare by holding events across the Five Towns, including a fishing competition last weekend which raised £2,500.
Mrs Woolford, 41, of Hall Road, said: “As soon as I heard the news that Noah could be a potentially suitable candidate for the operation, I just burst into tears.
“Noah had been told in the past that he may not be suitable, but until I heard it from the specialist who would perform the operation I told everyone I wouldn’t give up.
“It is really overwhelming to think that my son might be able to walk unaided, it is all a little bit too much to take in.
“To think he would be able to transfer from the wheelchair to the bath unassisted is a big achievement, but I have heard that some children who have had the operation even start to talk and walk. It would just be life-changing, not just for Noah but for our whole family.”
Mrs Woolford said Noah’s next appointment at LGI would be in five months, when doctors will update the family on whether the selective dorsal rhyzotomy operation – which involves cutting spinal nerves which cause stiffness and pain – was possible.
The family plans to continue to raise funds for the Noah Woolford Trust – originally set up in November 2010 to pay for a motorised wheelchair – but if the operation is given the go-ahead, the family can apply for funding from their local primary care trust.
Mrs Woolford added: “When we are given a date we want to be in a position to make sure we can afford it whether or not we have received funding from the primary care trust.
“We have been blown away by the generosity of everyone who has donated to us for so and we can’t thank them enough.
To donate to the Noah Woolford Trust, or suggest a fundraising idea call Mrs Woolford on 0113 286 1232.