Dream op for Cameron

Four-year-old Cameron Harper of Whitwood with his father Paul.
Four-year-old Cameron Harper of Whitwood with his father Paul.

Brave Castleford youngster Cameron Harper, who has cerebral palsy, has had a dream operation to help him walk for the first time.

The seven-year-old was selected to have the specialist Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery.

He had the operation at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) on Thursday, January 15.

His dad Paul, 34, said: “Cameron is doing really well. We’ve noticed a massive change already. We’re all delighted.”

The surgery - which involves cutting nerves in the spine which cause muscle stiffness - took five hours to complete.

Mr Harper said: “I was nearly crying when he came out of theatre because I thought of what everyone has done to get us to that stage.

“It’s a lot for us to take in and it’s been a bit of a whirlwind, but it’s amazing to see how he’s changed.”

Cameron had tests at LGI last January which confirmed he was an ideal candidate for SDR surgery.

But his family was left devastated when they were told in April that the £26,000 operation was no longer routinely available on the NHS.

The family launched a campaign and raised £26,000 towards the £50,000 they needed for Cameron to have the operation in the United States.

Then they were given the news that he had been selected for NHS trials of SDR.

The family will use the money raised to buy Cameron a specially-adapted wheelchair and the rest will help pay for rehabilitation and physiotherapy.

Cameron has left hospital and is now having two physiotherapy sessions a day.

Mr Harper said: “The change already has been unbelievable.

“His feet are flat to the floor and the physiotherapists have had him up and out of bed touching his feet.”

Cameron’s mum Nicola launched a support group for parents of children with similar conditions last year.

She said: “Cameron is loads better.

We wondered whether we’d made the right decision but when we saw Cameron’s face for the first time after the operation it made it all worthwhile.

“The staff and surgeons have been fantastic. We can’t thank everyone enough.”