Op gives Barnoldswick tot chance to walk

Barnoldswick toddler Oliver Rushton (2) in Leeds General Infirmary.
Barnoldswick toddler Oliver Rushton (2) in Leeds General Infirmary.

Barnoldswick toddler Oliver Rushton has left his parents and hospital staff astounded following his potentially life-changing operation.

Oliver’s parents Helen and Adam were told it may be three or four weeks before the two-year-old would be back to normal after he became the youngest person in the UK to ever have the six-hour specialist Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy procedure.

However, by Sunday, Oliver was up and about and was playing as normal again on Monday to the delight of all at Leeds General Infirmary.

Oliver, who suffers with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, has permanently tight leg muscles meaning he is unable to walk and had the surgery last Thursday in an attempt to correct this.

But after the £25,000 operation, the Rushtons, of Carr Road, Barnoldswick, know there is still a long process of rehabilitation to go.

Helen said: “Oliver is very good. The operation went well. In fact the surgeon said it was textbook. He is not on the high dependency ward now. It’s unbelievable. We are really shocked. We felt it would completely curtail his activities but it has not. I think he thinks he could climb a mountain.

“We were told it would be three to four weeks but it has taken him no time at all. He’s just surprised everybody. He started his physio today and we are really pleased.”

Initially, Oliver will have two sessions of physio a day for four weeks including walking with his frame, stretching and lifting. The rehabilitation process will take up to 18 months.

Helen added: “I’m optimistic. I know there’s a long road to go but he’s crawling and walking with his frame like before. I feel better now.

“Thanks again go to everybody who fund-raised for us to get to this point.”