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Life-changing chance for Layla




Layla Neale (3019871)
Layla Neale (3019871)

A schoolgirl will be given a new lease of life after hearing she qualifies for life-changing surgery.

Layla James has cerebral palsy which can make everyday tasks a painful battle as she struggles to walk.

Her family have been trying to raise £25,000 to pay for an operation to reduce the spasticity in her legs and improve her quality of life.

When the appeal was launched the operation wasn’t available on the NHS, but the qualifying criteria have changed and the family were delighted to hear that Layla is now eligible for surgery.

Her mum Lydia Neale said: “It is the best news we could have ever hoped for.”

Supporters have raised £12,800 since the Layla’s Legs appeal was launched. The funds were given a significant boost when comedian Jason Manford stepped in to help. He called on his Facebook followers to donate to the appeal as part of his Charity Ninjas campaign and the total rocketed overnight.

The money raised will now be used to pay for Layla’s physiotherapy which she will need up to four times a week after the operation.

Lydia, of Pentland Court, Oakham, said: “This is still a huge amount of money but thanks to everyone’s kind donations we are well on our way to funding this.

“I want to thank everyone from the bottom of my heart for all your support and making Layla’s dream a reality.”

The operation is called selective dorsal rhizotomy. It works by dividing muscles which run from the spinal chord to help reduce spasticity in the legs.

Layla, six, currently wears splints on both legs during the day and gators at night. She also struggles to walk far and sometimes relies on a wheelchair.

The operation has a good success rate in allowing patients to regain their mobility. Its success will allow Layla to keep up with her siblings, Lucas, Marley and Maci, and her friends at Catmose Primary.



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