Hello, my name is Jessica and I am now 8 years old. When I was born prematurely at 29 weeks I had a neurological condition called Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL) which led to me having spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy.
I can't stand by myself or walk independently and have a wheelchair but in January 2015, due to an amazing fund raise and donations people helped me with so far, I had the life changing operation of Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) at St Louis Children's Hospital, Missouri. I had to go to America as I was turned down for the operation in the UK. A week later I had a second operation to lengthen my hamstrings and heel cords which had not grown in length properly due to the spasticity I had suffered. These operations have made my legs and body much more comfortable and gave me a REAL CHANCE TO LEARN TO WALK, BUT there's a catch, I need a SUPPORTIVE PROGRAM OF INTENSIVE PHYSIOTHERAPY AND STRENGTH TRAINING each week to build functioning pathways in my brain and develop muscles and movements which I haven't been able to up master up to this point. Sadly the intense therapy required is NOT funded by the NHS so we again need to fund raise. I AM WORKING SO HARD IN MY THERAPY AND HOPE TO REACH MY DREAM . With the right level of therapy support, the neuro-surgeon who carried out the SDR operation thinks I will be able to achieve walking independently in a protected environment (indoors) and with a supportive device (like arm crutches) outside. This would be make a massive difference to my life and level of independence, instead of having to remain in a wheelchair and watch others play like I want to.
My dream really is still to be able to stand by myself and walk into my classroom independently, splash in puddles like my little brother George does, and my biggest dream and favourite thing of all is to dance. I love music and want to be able to dance on my own two feet (at the moment I crawl dance on the floor which is fun, but have to watch out my fingers don't get stepped on!) or dance sitting in my chair.
Thank you for getting Jessica to America for the life changing operations which now give her the chance to learn to walk tall. We now REALLY need help again to raise Jessica's therapy funds. Without hitting the original target (and to be honest more than that is now needed as the second operation Jessica had to lengthen her hamstrings and achillies tendons (an extra 10k cost) was not an expense we expected when we originally set our fundraise target of 70k. You may wonder how a £5 or £10 donation can help - it all adds up and really does help pay for the essential hydrotherapy, physiotherapy and strength training Jessica needs to learn to walk.and make the most of the opportunity the SDR operation has given her. PLEASE. PLEASE, PLEASE KEEP HELPING JESSICA.- you will be helping change the outcome for a little girl's life forever and we will be forever thankful for all the support she receives.
Thank you Kate and Simon
Please remember to use the Gift Aid option when donating, if you can, because this enables Jessica's fund to automatically reclaim money from the tax man (see the donations list to the right to see how this is working for some of the donations we have received already). If you are using the gift aid, leaving messages are fine but when it comes to who the donation comes from only the tax payer's name should be mentioned otherwise we have heard that HMRC has been taking back the gift aid off other JG pages, even when the donor can actually claim gift aid.
For up to date information about Jessica visit her facebook page of Help Jessica Walk and website at www.helpjessicawalk.com
Once we get to £70,000 our original target set back in 2014, we want to raise another £10,000 to help Jessica keep going with the therapy that is really helping her progress. She has been doing so well and has even managed a few independent steps this year. Amazing. Thank you. We hope that Jessica will keep progressing and get to her much wanted dream of walking by herself.