American surgeons to help Numan walk
By mattcollison | Wednesday, January 09, 2013, 14:35
A YOUNG Camberley boy is heading to the United States for a life-changing operation to help him walk unaided for the first time.
Little Numan flies to America with his parents on January 10 for surgery to help him walk.
Numan Milton-Tomkins, six, has cerebral palsy which has left his legs too stiff for him to be able to stand or walk without help.
His parents, Bilkis Ranmal and Nigel Milton-Tomkins, have worked tirelessly to try and raise the £60,000 needed for an operation available in America and for physiotherapy.
Tomorrow (January 10) the family, from Claremont Avenue, Camberley, will board a plane bound for St Louis, Missouri, where surgeons are waiting to help Numan.
Dad Nigel said: "We have been doing absolutely everything geared to this. It's the most important thing in our lives to get our little boy to walk."
The Sandrigham Infants School pupil will undergo a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation on January 15 to help him walk, before an intensive course of physiotherapy starts.
Nigel said: "It's been booked for three months and we just hoped we would get the money at the last minute, which thankfully we have.
"You have to book these things up to six months in advance so if we missed this one it could have been another six months before we got a date.
"The optimum age to have it done, because of growth, is six year's old and Numan was six on December 11 so time is ticking."
It comes one month after a glittering fundraising event at the Pennyhill Park Hotel hosted by Max Clifford on December 10, when £5,300 was raised.
Around £3,000 was raised last year after parents and pupils from Numan's school in Frimley Green took part in a sponsored run.
Large last minute donations received following the Max Clifford event meant the family were able to meet the £45,000 needed to go to the States.
Nigel said: "People have been very generous. It was slow to start but I think the publicity around the Max Clifford Pennyhill Park event encouraged people. We got a few quite big donations from sponsors at the last minute.
"All the way round people have really helped, from the parents of his school friends, we've had sponsored runs and all the rest."
But £15,000 will still need to be found through more fundraising events to pay for vital physiotherapy when Numan returns to the UK.
Nigel said: "The whole operation including the post-operative physiotherapy costs about £60,000. We have so far raised £45,000 which is enough for the operation itself and for us to go for five weeks and be with him.
"He will have approximately three weeks of intensive physiotherapy in the States after the operation but when we get him home we've got another 18-months to two years of intense physiotherapy which we also have to fund through charity donations- we have to carry on with our fundraising because we have got to raise another £15,000."
He continued: "The reason Numan can't stand or walk is because his legs are very stiff, so what they do with SDR is cut various nerves in the spine that are sending the signals that are making the muscles stiff.
"Once they have cut that, there is intense physiotherapy required to teach his muscles to support him instead of the stiffness which has been supporting him so far. That is why the physiotherapy is as important as the operation itself.
"If you just cut the tendons and don't do the physiotherapy it really doesn't help or make any advance at all."
He added: "We have got people offering to do sponsored skydives and Max Clifford has offered to do a ladies lunch when we get back. He is keen to stay involved. He did the same for a little girl in Gloucestershire where he has another house. She has now had her operation and he is following up with her all the time so he is fully involved."
To find out more about the Help Numan Walk appeal or to donate money visit http://www.HelpNumanWalk.com