The parents of a teenager with cerebral palsy are asking for the public’s help in raising money towards a £30,000 operation that will help her walk without being in pain.
Angelique Burton, 15, known as Angel, lives with her family in Tarporley and attends Dorin Park School in Chester.
She enjoys playing with her friends, animals and baking. She also loves to be independent but her condition means she is often in pain which stops her from walking.
Liverpool’s Alder Hey Children’s Hospital offers a life-changing operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) to treat spasticity in the lower limbs but unfortunately it is no longer funded by the NHS.
It involves a three week stay in hospital and two-year commitment to regular physical activity to strengthen the muscles.
Community and family fundraising activities have already raised £10,000 towards the £30,000 cost of the operation plus the equipment needed during the rehabilitation period.
Angel’s mum Nichola, who lives with husband Nick as well as their three daughters, said: “All I want is for Angel to be happy and live a pain-free life. She’s at the end of her tether. Our family are very close but this would be an opportunity for the family to be happy as well.
“She is desperate to live her life to the full,” added Nichola, whose other girls are Verity, 12, and Izzy, 17.
Nichola lovingly describes her daughter as a ‘monkey’ and normally ‘happy and bubbly’ but the situation is really starting to get her down especially as she can’t swim at the moment – something she absolutely loves and has won medals in.
Angel, who also faces the challenge of autism, is currently recovering from the most recent of numerous operations and must sleep in rigid plastic splints every night.
She told The Chronicle she wanted to be able to walk ‘without falling over’ and go back into the swimming pool. And the care she has received has clearly inspired her in terms of her future ambitions. “I want to be a nurse,” she said.
Fundraising events coming up include a swimathon at Winsford later this month, Tarporley Cider Festival, including a prize draw, on September 24 with tickets available and Tarporley Open Art Exhibition (August 22-24) being held at the Done Room. For more details call: 01829 309107 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org Donations can also be pledged via JustGiving – search for ‘Angel Burton - Twinkletoes’.
■ Josh Dunn, from Endsleigh Close, Upton, Chester, who also has cerebral palsy, was the first patient to have the SDR procedure in the north of England in a coup for Alder Hey back in 2012 when he was aged 18.
Mum Joan said: “Josh’s surgery has given him a chance. This has been life changing for all of us. Josh has become more confident, he is speaking more and he is a lot happier, less frustrated and he looks forward to things a lot more.”