A Louth girl who underwent radical surgery to be given a chance to walk for the first time has been commended for her ‘astonishing’ progress and ‘sheer determination’.
Leonie Hadley-Wilkinson (6) underwent a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy operation in February in a bid to cure her severe cerebral palsy.
The operation was only possible thanks to donations, as it was not available for Leonie on the NHS - and nor is the essential specialist physiotherapy that follows.
Leonie’s mum Vicky said: “Leonie is now achieving things like sit to standing with holding onto a table, rolling all the way over, kneeling, and can now sit independently and is able to play on the floor by herself.
“I have two physios which Leonie’s charity fundraising pays for. This is why we still have to raise money to carry on the physio so Leonie can have some mobility, and it is working.
“That’s thanks to the outstanding generosity of the public, and fundraising that myself and others have done to help Leonie achieve her goal of wanting to walk for the first time in her little life .
“She is astonishing a lot of people by her sheer determination and motivation.
“It’s a long road, and a costly one at that, but Leonie is proving how the SDR and physio is altering her non-mobile life to a more mobile life now.”
“I owe a lot of people so many thanks in helping Leonie and her family. This wouldn’t have been happening if it wasn’t for the kindness of people in this world .
In September, a man called Gregory Weston who survived a dreadful accident several years ago and had to learn to walk and talk again, will be raising money for Leonie’s specialist physiotherapy by taking part in a 10k race.
Vicky said: “Gregory is a true warrior with everything he’s been through. He has already raised nearly £500, and his walk isn’t until September.”
Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/gregory-weston to find out more and make a donation.
Other fundraising events next month include a 1980s night at My Father’s Moustache pub in Louth (August 10).
On August 17, Leonie’s mum Vicky - alongside Rose Metcalfe and her daughter Lucy - will be climbing Scafell Pike - the highest mountain in England.
And on July 20, the Cross Roads Inn at East Barkwith is holding a fun day including live music and an auction which will, in part, raise money for Leonie.
• Visit www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/just4children/teamleonie to make a donation towards Leonie’s physiotherapy.