THE family of a 12-year-old Kidderminster boy with cerebral palsy are hoping to raise funds to pay for a life-changing operation after NHS funding was cut.
Mason Jackson had been accepted to have a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) to help loosen his muscles before his family received the devastating news that funding for the operation had been cut by NHS England earlier this year.
His mother Amanda Campbell and her partner Andrew Danby are now hoping to raise £15,000 to pay for the procedure, which will increase his comfort and help his family care for him, and physiotherapy after the operation.
Miss Campbell, 47, said: “It’s devastating.I can understand that things have to be cut but it hits home a bit more when it’s personal to you.
“As he’s getting older, his legs are getting tighter. He’s in a wheelchair - he’ll never be able to walk but the operation will provide more comfort for him.
“It’s going to cost just under £10,000 and £5,000 for physio. A lot of people are going to America for it but it costs £50,000 there. I don’t think we need to do that - I’ve got a lot of trust in the doctors in Nottingham.”
The SDR involves removing nerves from the spinal cord, which will help with the spasticity, or tightness, in Mason’s muscles.
A spokesman for NHS England said: “We understand how difficult this is and sympathise with the family, who feel that their child may benefit from this treatment.
“However, the current evidence base does not yet demonstrate sufficient effectiveness for its routine use.”
The spokesman added that the SDR will be available to some patients at a small number of centres in a bid to evaluate whether the procedure will be made routinely available in the future.
Mason, who attends Chadsgrove School in Bromsgrove, was diagnosed with spastic quadriplegia cerebral palsy at four months old.
He also suffers with epilepsy and is registered blind, caused by a lack of oxygen at birth.
Miss Campbell has enlisted the help of the Tree of Hope charity, which helps raise money for children who need specialist medical surgery or treatment. She also hopes to hold a football match to help raise funds.
“He’s such a happy fellow,” she added. “He just loves being in people’s company.”
To donate visit justgiving.com/ Masonsdr or text masj47 to 70070 to donate £5.