A TRANSATLANTIC quest to improve a Wigan boy’s lot in life has been hailed a huge success.
Family of young cerebral palsy sufferer Alex Hickey are already reporting an astonishing improvement in his condition after he underwent surgery at a US clinic several days ago.
The Whelley youngster, who turns four next week, is now undergoing intensive physiotherapy to ensure the operation to cut damaged nerves to his spine achieves maximum success.
Alex’s condition is called spastic diplegia which affected his legs and ability to walk properly. Splints were needed for longer walks, he was apt to suffer falls and needed daily physio.
Surgery is available privately in the UK, but only to over-fives. The youngster’s parents Marie and Robert wanted his quality of life improving before that – as the condition worsens with age – and with less invasive surgery which is only available in America.
At the beginning of the year they launched an ambitious £40,000 fund-raiser for his treatment and aftercare at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri. They will be staying for another couple of weeks yet, but already they are delighted at his progress.
Speaking from the US, Marie said: “Alex’s operation was successful and he is doing fantastically at his physio. We have already received the wonderful news that he will never need to wear plastic leg splints again.
“Dr Park told us that if we do four to five hours’ physio with him every week, within two years you should never be able to tell that he had cerebral palsy.
“We are so happy and grateful to all those who helped raise money to make this happen.”
Thousands of pounds were raised by people taking part in sponsored sky-dives while others climbed Snowdon. An auction and curry night made £5,400 and there were numerous smaller ventures including supermarket bag-packing sessions.