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Schoolgirl needs to raise £25,000 for life-changing op

A schoolgirl with a debilitating condition hopes a £25,000 operation will transform her life.

Layla James has cerebral palsy which makes day-to-day living difficult and painful.

The six-year-old wears splits on both legs during the day and gators at night.

She struggles to walk far and longs to keep up with her friends and siblings Lucas, eight, Marley, three, and Maci, 14 months.

The best solution for Layla, of Pentland Court, Oakham, would be an operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).

It works by dividing muscles which run from the spinal chord to help reduce spasticity in the legs.

The procedure is not currently available on the NHS so the family face a bill of £25,000.

Her mum Lydia Neale said: “The operation would mean everything to me.

"Having three other children is the hardest thing.

"It kills me to see what they can do that Layla can’t. She often cries and asks why she can’t do the same things they can.

“I could never forgive myself if we didn’t try to raise the money for this operation.”

Layla was born early at 36 weeks but no one picked up on any problems until she was nine months old and still wasn’t sitting or rolling over.

An MRI scan diagnosed spastic diplegic cerebral palsy.

Initially it didn’t cause too many problems but as she gets older and more active, the condition causes more wear on Layla’s muscles.

She now has a wheelchair and sometimes misses classes at Catmose Primary when she gets too tired.

She is excited about the prospect of the surgery and said: “The best thing will be doing flips on the monkey bars.”

Lydia, 26, has started fundraising plans with her family.

They include a skydive and car boot sale at Market Overton Village Hall on Saturday, July 21.

Donations can be made at www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/laylaslegs

Anyone who would like to support the fundraising can contact Lydia on 07527 043583.

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