Brooke Lawrance walks into school after US operation

Brooke Lawrence walking into school Brooke walked into school for the first time on Tuesday

Related Stories

A seven-year-old girl has walked into school for the first time after being told by doctors she would spend her life in a wheelchair.

Brooke Lawrance, from Ipswich, who has cerebral palsy, underwent five hours of life-changing spinal surgery in America last November.

"It was the longest five hours of my life," said mother Sarah Lawrance.

She added: "To see her walk into school was amazing." The treatment, paid for by donations, cost about £65,000.

Brooke was diagnosed with cerebral palsy aged two-and-a-half and has spent most of her life in a wheelchair.

Her ability to walk has been achieved through extensive physiotherapy and Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery, developed by Dr Park, paediatric neurosurgeon at the St Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri.

The operation concentrates on the lower part of the spinal cord.

Ms Lawrance said: "We found out about SDR two years ago.

"We emailed Dr Park X-rays and film footage of Brooke for him to examine and he replied saying that he felt with an operation Brooke had every opportunity of walking.

"We were put in this room during the operation and they'd phone us to keep us updated - it was the longest five hours of my life.

"He took parts from the bottom of the spine out and tested all the nerves. The ones that don't send the right signals he removes.

The family was told Brooke Lawrance would never walk

'A good day'

"To be told when she was two-and-a-half she'd be in a wheelchair for her life and then to see her walk into school today was amazing."

Speaking after her big day back at school, cheered on through her arrival by her friends, Brooke said it had been "a good day".

She added: "I got to play with my friends and we had music, which was great.

"It felt good because I've never been on my feet so much, but my legs are a bit tired."

Brooke now has to build her strength up, helped by a specialist physiotherapist.

Ms Lawrance said: "We go to Scotland to see a guy who works with SCR children.

"It costs about £2,500 each trip, it's a nine hour drive each time and we've got to go three times this year so there's still a lot more more to raise to pay for her care."

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Suffolk

Weather

Ipswich

Min. Night 8 °C

Features & Analysis

  • Woman in swimming pool Green stuff

    The element that makes a familiar smell when mixed with urine


  • Plane at Shannon airportShannon's call

    The airport that hosted a roll-call of presidents


  • Record playing on turntableVinyl destination

    The eight tribes of people who keep buying records


  • The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge at RAAF Amberley airbase near Brisbane on 19 AprilIn pictures

    Fighter jets and screaming crowds for William and Kate


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • ITChild's play

    It's never been easier for small businesses to get their message out to the world

Programmes

  • Tuna and avacadoThe Travel Show Watch

    Is Tokyo set to become the world's gourmet capital?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.