A dream no longer!

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A CARNOUSTIE girl who has captured the hearts and minds of the Angus community received news this week she had been approved for life-changing surgery.

Cerebral palsy has left Brooke Ramsay (7) with severely limited movement in her legs, prompting her family to set up the Brooke’s Dream campaign to raise money for her treatment.

When the Guide & Gazette broke the story in August last year, the family were looking to raise enough for just Brooke’s after-care treatment, but as the story unfolded the goal posts moved.

In January we reported that after months of petitioning the NHS to fund a consultation and a selective dorsal rhizotomy procedure, a decision was being withheld while the NHS developed a ‘pathway’ for treatment.

Left in limbo, Brooke’s Dream campaigned on with the hope of raising the operation money themselves, all the while continuing to petition the NHS

MSP for South Angus Graeme Dey was a prominent figure in campaigning for a decision and after hearing the result he said: “I am delighted for Brooke and her family. I know how difficult the time spent waiting on this decision has been for them. This will ensure that parents in similar situations to that of Laura and Stewart learn far sooner whether the NHS believes their child’s condition would be improved by undergoing this procedure.”

Her mother, Laura, said: “It was unbelievable. I finished work at one and the medical secretary ‘phoned me to say the protocols had all been accepted. I asked about Brooke and they said they couldn’t tell me, so I tried to get in touch with our consultant but he was out.

“He ‘phoned me back about 2.30 p.m. and he told me Brooke had been accepted. It was unbelievable. Then Graeme Dey got in touch and the ‘phone has been ringing non-stop since.”

The next step is for Brooke to travel to Frenchay Hospital in Bristol for a consultation. Laura said: “The NHS are covering all the costs of that as part of the funding and two or three months after that we should have a date for an operation.”

For the Ramsay’s getting a decision has been a revelation. Laura said: “It’s just like a huge weight has been lifted off of our shoulders, it’s a relief that we’ve got it. We were on cloud nine on Tuesday and we still are.”

There could also be an added bonus for other Angus causes. Laura explained: “The money that has been raised for the operation, not the after-care treatment, will be distributed to local causes. We’ve decided that’s going back into the Angus community and we are going to find local charities to distribute it amongst. We don’t need it now, so it’s nice to give something back.”

Brooke’s Dream has been a whirlwind success, so much so that Laura struggles to pick a highlight. She said: “We have had a fantastic response. It’s too hard to pick one highlight of the campaign, there have been loads. There have been moments where we’ve been speechless because somebody has given us something or has said they will do something to raise money for Brooke.”