THE mother of a brave teenager who was left paralysed after a holiday accident claims that a spinal unit refused to scan her son because he would “never walk again”.
Cory Peyton, aged 15, damaged his spinal cord after he dived into a swimming pool and hit his head on the floor while on holiday with his family in Portugal in July.
His mum Michelle, aged 43, claims Southport Spinal Unit said there was no reason to give her son Cory another scan because he was not going to recover from his injuries.
But the family, from Atherton, decided to fundraise for the costs for him to be treated privately, and consultants from St John’s and Elizabeth’s Hospital, London, have said following a scan that they believe he will walk again.
Mrs Peyton said: “Cory is chuffed to bits by the news. He kept saying he would prove them all wrong, and this is confirmation of that.
“He has already proved them wrong. His arms are much stronger and doctors at Watford are hopeful and believe he will walk again. I believe it too.
“He had a scan a few weeks ago and we had to pay for it ourselves. It cost £900 but it was worth every penny. They said that all the swelling was gone and there was still bruising on the spinal cord, but once that has gone they don’t see why he won’t walk again.
“For me it is a mixture of happiness and anger.
“I am delighted we have had such amazing news and that Cory is doing so well, but I am also really upset that Southport just dismissed him so readily.”
Cory, a pupil at Westleigh High School, in Leigh, is currently having treatment three days a week at a rehabilitation centre in Watford and is determined to walk again, but needs specialist equipment to help him reach his goal.
Mrs Peyton said: “He is classed as tetraplegic because he doesn’t have much grip, but he has regained some strength back in his arms. He’s doing really well.
“He now needs equipment at home so he can do his rehab there. He needs a special bike, which will cost between £7,000 and £15,000, plus a standing frame, a walking frame and exercise weights.
“It all depends on the bruising on his spinal cord but thankfully he is not in any pain.
“He’s back at school in his final year and he wants to be a designer. I am very proud of his strength and courage. He’s doing amazingly well. He’s always smiling and he never gets down — it’s me that does that.”
Mr Rob Gillies, executive medical director at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital, said: “Cory had two scans, one before and another after surgery in Lisbon, which clearly showed the extent of damage to his spinal cord.
“The only indication for a further scan would have been if there was a neurological deterioration in his condition, which was not the case here. Under these circumstances scan results would not determine the type, extent or the intensity of rehabilitation. It is very much dependent on the clinical response of the individual patient to therapy. Therefore, there was no indication to do a further scan at this stage and it would not have altered our management.
“Cory was a patient for six months during which time he had rehabilitation and was regularly monitored. In this time, while he achieved some good functional goals, no significant change in the use of his legs was observed. Normally, if use was going to return, it would begin to show within three to four months of such an injury.”