Brooke’s Wish to Walk

A truly local cause nominated by Ipswich Round Table for Rudolph 2012

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Brooke Lawrance, who is just 7 years old, was born with Cerebral Palsy and has been confined to a wheelchair her whole life.

Brooke’s parents, Pete & Sarah, became of aware in the latter part of 2011 that there was a life changing operation available called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), which would drastically improve Brooke’s quality of life and enable her to walk for the first time. SDR is a special operation for children with spasticity cerebral palsy. This operation has reported a 100% success rate in its 24 year history but it is only currently available in St Louis, USA and more recently in the UK.

The costs of having SDR in the UK are close to £40,000 and are not funded by the NHS. The total cost of having the operation in the USA, including equipment & physiotherapy are around £70,000.

In October 2011, Pete & Sarah set up ‘Brooke’s Wish to Walk’ (piggybacking on the Tree of Hope Children’s Charity) and along with a small band of family and friends, have organised a series of events, including two Skydives, a Charity Golf Day, a Grand Raffle, several supermarket bag packs, a Charity Golf Day & a Summer Ball to name just a few!

In February 2012, Brooke went to Scotland to have two weeks of intensive Physiotherapy with Mike Poole, who works with lots of children like Brooke. Mike’s opinion was that it was unlikely that Brooke would be accepted for surgery in the UK but that in his professional opinion she would benefit from treatment in the USA, where the team have been performing this surgery for some 24 years in a Cerebral Palsy Hospital designed specifically for this purpose. It was his opinion that Brooke would achieve a better outcome if she had the operation in the USA.

Soon after her physio in Scotland Brooke found out that she was not suitable for treatment in Bristol but shortly afterwards she was accepted for treatment under the care of Dr Park in St Louis, USA.

By the end of October 2012, the fund stood at an impressive £61,500. We also have the final £5,000 pledged by Town 102 from their Children’s Trust charity.

Brooke travelled to the USA on 10th November 2012 and had her SDR operation in St Louis on the 15th November. She has just been discharged from hospital and will have intensive physiotherapy over the coming weeks and another operation on her heel cords on the 4th December, before returning the UK on 15th December. It is expected that her on-going treatment will consist of lots of physiotherapy over the course of the next year or more. Her early progress in the past week has been excellent!

Pete & Sarah Lawrance would like to thank everyone who has supported Brooke’s Wish to Walk, and thank the Round Table for nominating their daughter’s cause as one of their charities this year.

Ipswich Round Table hopes that with our work and your kind generosity we can propel Brooke Wish to Walk to its target. Having met some of the people involved in this charity we really feel that it’s an amazing cause with some very caring people at the helm.

Together with Town 102 Kids Trust Charity the hope is to help Brook get her wish and also for the Brooke’s Wish to Walk to go on helping others with similar needs.

Full details of the SDR procedure can be found by clicking here.