A Chester boy whose crippling cerebral palsy had left him unable to walk has had a life-changing operation that his parents say has been like giving him ‘someone else’s legs’.
Since the surgery on his legs last week, six-year-old Khalid Lafdil of Melverley Road, Blacon is now crawling and able to stand upright, and for the first time in his short life he’s not in constant pain.
The Dorin Park School pupil was born with four-limb cerebral palsy mainly affecting his legs and has never before been able to walk unaided or say more than just a handful of words.
In the past, Khalid has had to wear splints on both feet which are difficult to get on due to the spasticity in both legs, and had to be spoon-fed certain foods.
He’s endured things no child his age should have to, including numerous hospital trips, intense daily pain, muscle spasms, growth spurts, and frustration due to his lack of speech.
But thanks to the selective dorsal rhizotomy operation he underwent last week at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, life is finally looking a little brighter for Khalid.
Mum Ally said: “It is amazing the difference surgery has made already; before his legs were so tight that they were bent and really difficult to move.
“When he came out of recovery and the surgeons came to see us, they said to pick up his legs and have a feel. They were loose! It was like picking up someone else’s legs. “He is really happy, he keeps pointing at his legs saying ‘better’ and when you ask him how he feels he says ‘happy’.”
Ally added: “Khalid’s been having daily physio and managed to get into a crawling position which wasn’t expected so soon as he is weak after the operation.
“He’s also stood upright in his standing frame – he’ll have to work very hard to build up his strength again now but has made a fantastic start! Apart from the many reasons why we wanted Khalid to have this op, the main was to stop the constant pain he was in, which we have achieved so the only way is up now.”
And since late summer, Ally, partner Harry and their family and friends have been on a mission to raise £15,000 for The Tree of Hope, a charity which provides hope for families of sick children in the UK who need specialist medical surgery by arranging dozens of fundraising events.
Eleven weeks later they’ve been so successful they have already hit £10,385.
“We only have just over £4,000 to go to hit our target,” said Ally.
“And we have so many things lined up. My friend Jo is doing a half marathon, another has given up alcohol for January, my brother raised more ï¿½600 doing the ‘Loony Dook’ in Scotland on New Years Day and we are also planning a pamper evening where my friend, a qualified therapist, has offered to do treatments, and another friend will do nails.
“Also, I have a massive fear of spiders and my friend is arranging for me to hold a tarantula – I may pass out but hopefully it will still count if I’m still holding the thing!”
To donate to The Tree of Hope or find out more about the fundraising activities in Khalid’s name, visit