Chelmsley Wood mum launches fundraising campaign for operation to help son walk
A mum has launched a £25,000 fundraising drive – after being told the NHS may not fund a vital operation to help her son walk.
The health service confirmed it did not “routinely fund” the type of surgery that could transform wheelchair-bound Hayden Webster’s life.
His mum Kirsty Harrington, 23, fumed: “They fund things like boob jobs on the NHS but they won’t carry out surgery like this on all children who desperately need it. It’s shocking.”
Hayden, aged five, from Chelmsley Wood, has a type of cerebral palsy called spastic diplegia.
It causes muscle stiffness and means Hayden cannot walk without help.
An operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) could correct the problem – but NHS England will only fund a handful of operations for suitable patients.
Kirsty, who is also mum to Callum, aged four, explained: “By cutting out the bad nerves, the good ones would be left intact, and his muscles would loosen.
“Hayden’s legs would be easier to move and he would be able to walk. He would have a much happier and easier life.
“At the moment he is frustrated at not being able to do what other children can do.
“He can stand against furniture but cannot walk unaided.
“He bunny hops, or crawls, but can’t sit up properly.
“He goes to a mainstream school and they are very good, adapting things like sports days so he can take part. But it is very hard for him when he can’t keep up.”
Kirsty has launched a campaign to raise £25,000 if Hayden does not qualify for the surgery on the NHS. The row is the latest controversy over the public funding of operations.
Would-be glamour model Josie Cunningham had her boobs enlarged in a £4,800 op on the NHS.
And Sutton Coldfield’s Sam Barton, the grandson of Villa’s European Cup-winning manager Tony Barton, was branded Britain’s vainest man after he had a state-funded £5,000 nose job.
Hayden will find out next month whether he can have his operation on the NHS.
An NHS spokesman said: “The NHS does not routinely fund SDR for the condition because, although it is a promising treatment, current evidence on its effectiveness in such cases is limited.
“SDR surgery shows real promise for some patients with mobility problems and that’s why we want to explore it further through our innovative evaluation programme.”