A BATTLE for the right to walk could become reality for a Radcliffe woman after she campaigned for life-changing surgery usually only offered to children.
Cerebral palsy sufferer Laura Ramsden, aged 33, of Bowker Street, could soon become one of the oldest people in the UK to have a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).
The operation reduces tight muscle tone, known as spasticity, by cutting nerves and Laura is now hoping a public appeal will help her pay for expensive after-care treatment.
She said: “After this operation I am likely to be pain-free for the first time ever and at the age of 33 should be able to take my first steps all by myself.
“I don’t really know how to put into words what this would mean — it is something that able-bodied people take for granted every day.
“My youngest sister is getting married in the summer and I would love to be able to stand with her and the rest of the wedding party for the photographs.”
Having discovered the powerful effects of £70-an-hour neuro physiotherapy following a hip operation in 2010, Laura will need to pay for more of this treatment after surgery.
It is not available on the NHS, but in 2011 it helped Laura stand and take steps with a frame.
She has used savings and wages to pay for £15,000 of the treatment at a private clinic in Manchester — and set up a charity, Laura’s Wish, so other sufferers are able to have the same.
She said: “Doctors and hospitals had always told me I would never be able to walk again. But at the neuro physiotherapy clinic, I am asked what I want to be able to do and helped to work towards my goals.”
Laura has also fundraised to purchase special shoes, balance beams, a trampoline and a stepper for other needy young people.
She is now set to have her surgery at the Walton Centre of Excellence in Liverpool — and hopes a date will be confirmed this month.
The complex and high-risk surgery is usually only offered to children, with the upper age limit of between 35 and 40 and Laura hopes to raise £4,000.
She said: “I am appealing to supporters to donate as little as £1 each to help make this happen — by doing this you can all play a part in changing my life forever.”
Laura is holding a charity fundraiser night at St Philip’s Community Centre in Higher Dean Street on May 3 and carries out bucket collections across the North West.
Go to youcaring.com/medical-fundraiser/ laura-s-wish-fundraisingand-sdr-fund-2013-14/121155#sthash.kgRgz5Lp or search Laura’s Wish on Facebook.