A BRAVE youngster from the borough has this week undergone potentially life-changing surgery.
Five-year-old Lily Gordon, from Tenbury Crescent, Preston Grange, North Shields, was born with cerebral palsy which has caused a tightening of her leg muscles, meaning she has never been able to walk unassisted.
Her family – mum Joanne, dad David and sister Katie set up the HelpLily2StLouis fund to raise £50,000 to fund a trip to St Louis in America so Lily can undergo a selective dorsal rhizotomy, which could enable her to take her first steps without the use of a frame.
Hundreds of people have got behind Lily and smashed the total, raising more than £70,000 – and Lily underwent the surgery on Monday.
On Tuesday evening Joanne said: “Everything went ahead as planned.
“The nurses gave her a sedative which made her act a bit drunk, and she chose a strawberry smelling mask for them to administer the gas.
“We all got a bit teary as they took her through to the operating theatre, but we’re all fine now.
“The staff will update us regularly, and we should be able to see her in recovery in a few hours time.
“She will be kept quite heavily sedated for Wednesday and Thursday, and then on Friday the IV drugs will be stopped and we can get her out of her bed and into her wheelchair for an hour or so.
“On Friday physiotherapy starts, she will be discharged from hospital on Sunday, and after that it’s daily physiotherapy at the hospital for an hour at a time, and we will be given a programme of exercises to do at the hotel too.”
She added: “We can’t believe how much we’ve raised, this extra money means we don’t have to worry about how many physio visits she does or how long she stays.
“We can even do hydrotherapy and horse riding, which will build up strength in her legs, and help improve her balance and co-ordination.
“We are so grateful to everyone who has helped and for all the money that people have given for Lily.
“Hopefully, in time, Lily won’t have to wear her splints and can start to wear pretty shoes like her friends.”
On Bank Holiday Monday, August 29, the family will meet doctors again to decide whether Lily requires tendon lengthening surgery, and if she does, this will take place on August 30.