Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting DURHAM TIMES to 80360 or email us
Brave boy's mum tells of op joy in US
MEDICAL staff who carried out potentially life-changing surgery on a five-yearold schoolboy say they are delighted with his progress.
Thomas Brennan, whose spastic diplegic cerebral palsy leaves him in constant pain and often unable to walk more than a few steps at a time, underwent pioneering surgery aimed at allowing him to walk freely for the first time in St Louis, Missouri, US, late on Tuesday.
Yesterday, his mother Jodie Bussey told The Northern Echo: “Thomas got through the operation excellently and handled it with a pinch of salt.
“All sats (surgery, anaesthesiology and trauma) remained perfect throughout and they were over the moon with him.
“He has spent most of the last 24 hours sleeping off the medication. They will begin to try and move him from his bed tomorrow [Thursday].”
Miss Bussey also sent a photograph of Thomas in his hospital bed yesterday morning, saying he was “looking a lot brighter” than on Tuesday.
Thomas, from Ushaw Moor, County Durham, who calls his condition his “crazy legs”, travelled to the US after a public appeal raised more than £40,000 for his operation and aftercare.
The surgery, rare in the UK but more common in the US, involved cutting into his spine and severing a nerve, causing spasticity in his legs.
Thomas could leave hospital next week, although he faces weeks of physiotherapy in St Louis before he can return home.
Earlier this week, St Louis’ Children’s Hospital surgeon Dr TS Park told Miss Bussey Thomas was a perfect candidate for the operation and he could be ready to get rid of his wheelchair within six months.
It had previously been thought it could be two years before Thomas was able to walk freely.
Thomas was diagnosed with his condition, also known as Little’s disease, aged 16 months. He often has to use a wheelchair, particularly during cold weather.
More funding is needed to pay for Thomas’ rehabilitation.
To support his care, visit justgiving.com/help-thomasreach- the-moon-and-stars