Hastings youngster Leo Leyland wants to walk and talk like other children but to do so he needs a lifechanging operation, his family and the nursery he attends have set wheels in motion to raise the £70,000 it will cost.
Leo was born 10 weeks premature and suffered a pre birth brain haemorrhage which resulted in Hemiplegic cerebral palsy. Now nearly three years old his mum, Tania, says her son has the chance of a better quality life with an operation in America. “Leo’s a happy little boy but can get quite frustrated,” she said. “Intellectually he is fine but because of his prematurity he has problems with his speech and language. As he can’t walk he often watches his big brother Jake play outside and you can tell he just wants to join in!
“Because of his Hemiplegia, he has high muscle tone in his leg and arm that results in a form of toe poking and closed fist.
“There is a life changing new pioneering operation that Leo can have called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) which, unfortunately, the NHS will not fund. Without the operation it will be really difficult for him to be mobile for the rest of his life and we are not going to let that happen. Children just like Leo that have had this surgery go on to live normal independent lives.
“We have started fundraising and hopefully we will get our target of £70,000 to pay for the SDR operation.”
One of the many fundraising events for the youngster includes St Paul’s nursery, which Leo attends. The staff hosted a Big Breakfast for children and their families before school and raised over £500.
If you want to help Leo or donate visit: www.treeofhope.org.uk