FOR TWO Carnoustie girls, today (Friday) marks the beginning of the most important month of their lives.
Three year old twins Ayley and Chloe Hirsch, who suffer from a form of cerebral palsy which has seriously affected their ability to walk, fly to St Louis, Missouri, today to begin a month of treatment, writes Johnston Ralston.
In February last year, the girls’ plight captured the hearts of the local community as they and their family campaigned to raise enough money to afford the spinal dorsal rhizotomy which was only available to their age group in the US.
Originally, the campaign, which became known as the ‘Help Ayley and Chloe Walk’ fund, set out to raise £80,000, the cost of surgery for both girls. However, such was the response that a total of £175,436 was eventually raised.
The Guide & Gazette caught up with their mother, Avril Hirsch, on Wednesday as the family prepared for the life-changing trip.
She said: “Everybody is packed and ready to go, we’re just catching up with family and friends before we depart.”
Avril outlined the plan of action: “We’re heading out and meeting on Monday, January 9, for an assessment day and then it’s the operation the next day.”
The operation will be carried out by Dr T.S. Park, an expert in this field of neurosurgery with over 20 years of success.
Avril added: “He’s doing it at the same time, how I have no idea, but he’s done twins before. It’s so they recover at the same time.
“Then they’ll sleep for two days. I presume this is to ease the pain, and then on the third day he’ll have them up and out of bed. That will be a tough time.”
Avril added: “We’re very excited, and I’m starting to feel a bit terrified. I think I’ll be a bit of a blubbering wreck by the end of it. We just want to thank everyone for their support, this is our time now and we are ready to go and we are very, very grateful.”