Leeds family’s £95,000 bid to enable Wesley to walk

Wesley Knight. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
Wesley Knight. PIC: Bruce Rollinson
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This cheeky chappie has become an expert at propelling himself along by rolling over.

That’s because little Wesley Knight is currently unable to sit, crawl or stand.

The 16-month-old has cerebral palsy after being born nine weeks prematurely and suffering a bleed on the brain.

Now his family have launched a £95,000 fundraising appeal to pay for an operation which could help him walk independently.

Dad Tim, from Guiseley, Leeds, said: “Without a really special effort, it is unlikely he will ever be able to walk on his own.”

Wesley was born prematurely by emergency caesarean section after his mum Catherine went into labour at 30 weeks.

He was in special care for weeks but was doing well until doctors realised he had a bleed on the brain.

A series of tests revealed the bleed had affected motor function and had caused cerebral palsy.

“Wes is not sitting or standing and he is 16 months old,” said Tim, 33.

“He can roll, which he does amazingly, but as he gets older and more self-aware, he will see us moving around and he will be more frustrated that he cannot do anything.”

Wesley, who has two older sisters, has physiotherapy, osteopathy and hydrotherapy, some of it paid for privately, but his parents are keen for him to get any other treatment which will help him to walk.

“We get the sense that, although everyone in the NHS has been lovely, the ambition they have for Wes is not as high as we would hope,” Tim added.

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, an operation which can enable some cerebral palsy sufferers to walk independently, was previously mainly available abroad but recently the first operations were done in Leeds.

It isn’t yet clear what treatment may help Wesley, but Tim and Catherine have set up Wesley’s Wish to collect towards the costs.

If not needed for him, money raised would help other similarly affected children.

* To support the fundraising, log on to: www.wesleyswish.org

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