£40,000 to take first steps

2 March 2010, 06:33 | Updated: 3 March 2010, 05:15

A family from Bracknell have to raise £40,000 to send their little girl for a life-changing operation in America.

Isabella's condition...

Five year old Isabella Mays has Diplegic Cerebral Palsy and needs the operation so she can walk.

At the moment she uses a walker to get around, or crawls along the floor when she is inside the house. Her mum Tracey told us that can often make Isabella frustrated, especially as her twin brother has no such condition, "It effects the whole family. When you're going out she really wants to walk. She gets frustrated and upset when there's things she can't do."

Listen to the full interview with Tracey

Going to America...

After hearing about a little girl from Dorset with the same condition as Isabella, who was treated at a hospital in Missouri and given an operation called "Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy", so Tracey got in touch with the same hospital.

She told us St Louis Children's Hospital have now offered some hope to the family, "The hospital told us we needed to get hip X-Rays, spine X-Rays and an MRI scan. We had to send all that information on disc to America, along with a video of Isabella so they could assess her movement."


The specialist doctor at the hospital in the States is confident the operation, along with physiotherapy treatment, will help Isabella walk.

Tracey told Heart that will mean doing normal activities that all children enjoy, could finally be possible for Isabella, "Even going to the park is difficult as she can't get on all the equipment and gets upset as she is so determined. She is getting too big for the little swings and the big swings aren't safe for her."

Funding the trip...

The cost of the whole trip will be at least £40,000, and that is if there are no complications. Tracey said the family have already booked the operation for May, but have not yet got the money to pay for it, "It's important Isabella has the operation as soon as possible, so I've been fundraising and trying to get as much of the cash as I can before the trip. But inevitably we will have to get a loan to pay for some of it."