Blackwood youngster takes first steps after pioneering surgery in America
‘MIRACLE’ OPERATION: Three- year-old Bayli Lippiett with surgeon Dr Tae Park after his operation at St Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri, USA
BLACKWOOD youngster Bayli Lippiett has taken his first steps, with his parents dubbing his surgeon "a miracle worker".
The three-year-old had surgery at the St Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri, after Argus readers raised an incredible £58,300 to pay for treatment for his quariplegic cerebral palsy there.
He has been walking for the first time with the aid of sticks and had physiotherapy until he flew home at the weekend.
Argus readers were touched by the story of Bayli, who was only able to walk short distances with the aid of a frame.
His parents Katherine, 27 and Darren, 26, launched a campaign last September called ‘A Dream to Walk’ and raised the massive total in around eight months, allowing Bayli to fly out to the USA on June 15 for treatment.
On June 21, he received an operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy, a procedure developed and only performed by surgeon, doctor Tae Park, at the St Louis Children’s Hospital.
The procedure involves removing the bone from one vertebrae and making an incision in the spine, which stops faulty messages from the brain getting to a cerebral palsy sufferer’s legs. This gives more balance, enabling them to walk.
Mrs Lippiett said: "Doctor Park is a miracle worker. Bayli is walking on sticks now, which he could never do before, his balance is a lot better and he’s able to sit up."
Since the operation, Bayli has been receiving intensive physiotherapy, aimed at strengthening his muscles as he learns to walk unaided.
He will continue to receive physiotherapy now he is back home and Dr Park intends to review Bayli and his progress in six to 12 months time.
It will then be decided if he is to receive another small operation on his heel, but this is relatively minor and would only require day surgery.
However, because Bayli is still young and growing, his family are hopeful he won’t need this and will be able to strengthen his heel through regular stretching exercises.
Mrs Lippiett added: "It’s sad to think we have to come home in a week’s time because the facilities they have for children in the physio department over here are amazing but at the same time can't wait to get home because we miss our families so much."