Family plea for donations for life-saving surgery for three-year-old with cerebral palsy

By Laura Lyne

THE FAMILY of a courageous three-year-old from Rathfarnham who has cerebral palsy is hoping to fundraise for life-changing surgery to help her walk.

Little Ella Doyle was diagnosed with the condition at the Coombe Hospital following a number of appointments and tests.

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Currently using a walking frame to get around, bubbly Ella will need to use a wheelchair as the condition causes her muscles, joints and bones to deform and shorten over time.

The operation she needs is called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) and is only available in the US, meaning Ella and her family will need to raise €150,000 to cover the costs of the operation and recovery.

It will take place in the St Louis children’s hospital in Missouri, and will be performed by Dr Park, who has performed over 3,000 SDR surgeries for children with cerebral palsy around the world.

Included within the costs is an intense two-year physiotherapy programme, which, if successful, will see Ella walking, running and jumping like other children her age.

SDR is a complicated surgery that involves cutting some of the damaged sensory nerve fibres that cause the symptoms of cerebral palsy, which include spasticity.

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Fifty per cent of the fundraising target (€75,000) needs to be raised by August, and there has been €30,000 raised so far through a number of events.

One of the upcoming events includes a family fundraiser that will take place in the Energie Fitness Club that is located in Nutgrove Retail Park on the June bank holiday weekend.

Organised by Ella’s mother Nicola and club manager Eoin Kaar, the fundraiser will take place on Monday, June 6 and will include games, competitions, and prizes providing entertainment for all the family.

Tickets for the gala and pool party will cost €10 or €25 for a family of two adults and two children, and tickets are available from Energie Rathfarnham.

Further information about Ella’s Wish to Walk and the fundraising events that are taking place in coming weeks are available at www.ellaswishtowalk.ie

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