THE first major steps have been taken to help little Hayden Shaw walk on his own.
The three-year-old was diagnosed with spastic diplegia – a form of cerebral palsy – which causes his muscles to tighten and makes it difficult for him to walk unaided.
So in a bid to give him a better life, parents Tracy Mcleod and Alan Shaw, of St John’s Road, Havant, flew to America so Hayden could have an operation.
Mum Tracy, 32, said: ‘As Hayden was getting older we noticed he wasn’t growing properly.
‘At the time I remember thinking I didn’t want to know or believe what was wrong with him.
‘When Hayden was a year old the health visitor noticed there was a problem and he was admitted to Queen Alexandra Hospital.’
Tests at the Cosham hospital revealed little Hayden had cerebral palsy.
‘It was quite a shock,’ added Tracy.
‘After that it felt like we were left to our own devices. Hayden would say things like “I’m hurting mummy” and I thought something needs to be done.’
Last summer, the family decided they would take Hayden to America, for an operation, which is not available on the NHS.
They raised £28,000 and in December flew to the St Louis Children’s Hospital, in Missouri, USA.
The operation – cutting sensory nerve ﬁbres that enter the spinal cord, which is believed to be the root cause of the spasticity – was said to be a success.
But in order for Hayden to walk unaided he needs to have five physiotherapy sessions a week for the next year.
Each session costs £45 and Hayden goes three times a week as well as carrying out exercises at home.
‘The sessions are important if Hayden wants to walk unaided,’ said Tracy.
‘It’s imperative he gets them the first year after the operation.
‘He’s been getting on really well and is a lot more excited since America, we want to keep that up.’
To help with Hayden’s aftercare, family friends Sandra Brown and Chris Psaila have organised a seafront fundraiser, which takes place tonight.
Ten bands and four DJs will perform at South Parade Pier, Southsea.
Sandra, 35, said: ‘We want to help towards treating his cerebral palsy and we know the physiotherapy he needs costs a lot of money. We’re grateful for everyone’s help.’
In addition a signed guitar from pop star Jack Penate and a Pompey football will be raffled off.
The gig runs from 5pm to 2am and tickets cost £6.
They can be bought on the door or from the Dead Man’s Glory store, in Albert Road, Southsea.
For more information visit helphayden.co.uk.