Rise and shine for Brooke’s Dream

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CARNOUSTIE girl Brooke Ramsay woke up earlier this week with a new lease of life following an operation aimed at treating her cerebral palsy.

Brooke (8) is currently recovering in NHS Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital after undergoing a selective dorsal rhizotomy to remove stiffness in her legs which has severely hindered her ability to walk.

Brooke’s Dream has been campaigning for treatment since last August, and in the process prompted the NHS to create a treatment pathway for cerebral palsy sufferers involving SDR.

The operation took place on Tuesday and was carried out by neurosurgeon Mr Kristian Aquilina.

Brooke’s father, Stewart, told the Guide & Gazette: “Brooke was in surgery for four hours 40 minutes, and recovery for about an hour.

“Dr Aquilina says the surgery went very well with no complications at all, just a textbook case as it should be. She is now very tired as you would expect, so we are just letting her rest.

“Laura (Brooke’s mum) and I are both over the moon that the operation has been carried out and it has gone without any complications.

“We were 100 per cent confident that we had made the right decision with SDR for Brooke, but there was always a worry about what would happen if there had been any problems with Brooke’s surgery.

“Thankfully that didn’t happen and Brooke is the 23rd child to have undergone the surgery at Bristol by Dr Aquilina.

“She is the first Scottish child to have had this surgery in the UK and the first Scottish child to receive funding from the NHS for SDR.

“We are very proud of everything we have achieved for her and can’t thank everyone enough for their support.”

According to her parents Brooke is still confined to her bed, but is awake and talking, although she is very tired following the surgery.

Stewart added: “There is already evidence of improvement.

“Brooke is experiencing sensations in her legs that she did not have before because of the spasticity.

“It is uncomfortable and strange for her because it is new, but she’ll soon get used to it.

“We have also seen a dramatic improvement in movement in her feet and toes.”

Brooke was expected to start her initial phase of physiotherapy yesterday (Thursday).

Stewart added: “It will just be bed-based stuff until the end of the week, then next week the hard work really begins.

“The staff hope to have her walking a short distance out of the ward when she is eventually discharged on Friday, July 27.”

On Wednesday evening Brooke was allowed to sit up in bed and also received a visit from ‘Mini’ the dog, one of the many ‘special visitors’ to the Barbara Russell Unit where she is staying.

We will endeavour to bring you regular updates on Brooke’s progress as they happen.