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"Crazy legs" Thomas leaves hospital bed
A SCHOOLBOY who underwent potentially life-changing surgery earlier this week yesterday left his hospital bed in the US for the first time.
Five-year-old Thomas Brennan, whose spastic diplegic cerebral palsy leaves him in constant pain and struggling to walk – particularly during cold weather – had a pioneering operation in St Louis, Missouri, on Tuesday.
Yesterday, doctors helped the youngster, from Ushaw Moor, County Durham, out of his hospital bed and took him around ward 12 of the St Louis’ Children’s Hospital in a wheelchair.
Afterwards, from St Louis, Thomas’ mother, Jodie Bussey, told The Northern Echo: “They have had Thomas out of bed briefly in his wheelchair around the ward, but he didn’t like it and only tolerated a short ride due to the pain.”
Doctors were planning to try again late yesterday evening (GMT) and were hoping for more progress.
Earlier this week, staff said Thomas, who calls his condition his “crazy legs”, was making excellent progress and they aid 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 would be able to walk freely.
The Spiderman-mad schoolboy travelled to the US after friends, relatives and wellwishers raised more than £40,000 for his operation and aftercare in only six months.
His surgery, rare in the UK but more common in the US, involved cutting into his spine and severing a nerve, allowing for spasticity in his legs.
It is hoped Thomas could leave hospital next week.
However, he faces weeks of intensive physiotherapy before he, his mother, his sister, Eve, and his grandfather, John Nelson, can fly home.
Thomas, who attends St Joseph’s RC Primary School, in Ushaw Moor, was born nearly ten weeks early by Caesarean section and was diagnosed with his condition, also known as Little’s disease, when he was 16 months old.
More money is needed to pay for Thomas’ continuing recovery. He is required to return to the US for a check-up in 12 months time. Visit just g iv i n g. c o m / h e l p - t h o m a s - reach-the-moon-and-stars