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‘Life-changing’ operation has helped Romford girl, 10, to walk for the first time

Ellie-Louise Sudbury, 10, with her brother Alfie. Ellie-Louise Sudbury, 10, with her brother Alfie.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013
5:45 PM

A year on from a “life-changing” operation a girl is learning to walk for the first time.

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Ellie-Louise Sudbury, 10, was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy as a child. The condition caused the muscles in her arms and legs to become tight and painful, meaning she could not walk, and had to use a wheelchair.

Last year Ellie-Louise’s family raised £45,000 through a number of fundraising helps, with the help of The Recorder, to help pay for her to go to Missouri, America and have a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy procedure on her spinal cord and legs, followed by intensive therapy. The procedure involved cutting away some of her nerves, which were making her muscles tight and painful.

A year on, Ellie-Louise no longer relies on a wheelchair, and uses crutches to help her walk. Her mum Siobhan Stevens said Ellie-Louise has even started walking on her own.

Siobhan, of Gobions Avenue, Collier Row, said: “It was a totally life-changing operation for her and it has 100 per cent changed our lives.”

She added: “Ellie is doing really well and can now walk with her crutches and has taken 12 steps on her own.

“She still has a long way to go, but considering she had never walked before the operation, she is doing really well.

“When she came back from America she was really weak and her legs were like jelly. She had to learn to walk from scratch.

“She is starting to learn to walk now, but still uses her crutches. And she hasn’t used her wheelchair in months.”

She has to do her exercises every day to make her stronger.”

“It has been such a big improvement for her and she’s more confident in herself.”

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