A six-year-old girl needs £65k for life-changing US surgery to help her stand up for herself because her lopsided legs cause her to fall over 15 times a DAY.
Little Freya Bailey has tense muscles and stiffness caused by diplegic cerebral palsy, which means her lower limbs tilt inwards and her feet are deformed as a result.
She is unable to walk more than a few steps without a frame and has to concentrate while standing or she loses her balance and topples to the ground.
The happy youngster, who is in year two at school, was diagnosed with the condition just before her fourth birthday after failing to hit milestones.
Freya failed to keep up with other children her age and, although she is as bright as a button, is not able to do simple tasks like dress herself.
Mum Beth Woolford, 29, has launched an appeal called Freya’s Freedom in a bid to give her daughter the gift of independence and has raised £45k – £20k off the target.
The money will pay for Freya to fly to St Louis, Missouri, US, for an op called selective dorsal rhizotomy which is not available on the NHS and isn’t offered widely in the UK.
It severs certain nerve roots to improve muscle stiffness and experts say it would leave Freya able to walk unaided and stand up without falling over.
Retail worker Beth, of Ruthin, north Wales, said: “Freya can take a few independent steps and then she will fall over.
“Her balance is dreadful and her coordination is awful, so she falls over when she’s standing still and can’t dress her bottom half by herself.
“She has to work hard to just keep herself upright. The slightest thing can make her lose it and fall over.
“It can be something as simple as me calling her name which will distract her, and once she’s stopped concentrating on her balance she’ll fall over.
“Freya falls around 10 to 15 times in a day. Sometimes less or more depending on how tired she is. She has even sprained her ankle from falling before now.
“As she gets older, especially with things in school, she is having to have help with things but she wants to be independent.
“She never complains, she just gets on with it and she works really hard. She goes to physio every week and she puts in 110 per cent.
“She’s made brilliant progress but now it seems to have halted. We are doing everything we can do and it’s a case of maintaining where we are.
“That is frustrating for her. She gets upset because all her friends are running around and she can’t catch up with them.”
Beth, who is a single mum to Freya and also has a three-year-old son called Max, added: “I can’t even put into words how much this would mean to us.
“I just want the best for Freya and to see her suffering is heartbreaking.
“She just wants to be like everybody else, but without help there is absolutely no way we could afford it.
“It is heartbreaking that I can’t give her what she needs and I’m having to rely on other people’s generosity but there is no other way.”
Apart from leaving her unable to stand or walk unaided, Freya’s condition causes her painful leg spasms – something the operation would ease.
Beth said: “It breaks her heart. It is awful. There is nothing I can do except sit with her and rub her legs. She really suffers.”
After the initial surgery, Freya will have a second operation on her calves because she’s been using those muscles in the wrong way.
Cash raised in the appeal will fund the treatment as well as flights, accommodation and therapy for three weeks afterwards.
Any money left over will be donated to the Tree of Hope charity to help other poorly children.
To help fund Freya’s Freedom, visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/freyasfreedom
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