GETTING little Megan Hill to America will be a life-changing experience.
The three-year-old, from Johns Road, Fareham, has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy and needs an operation to be able to walk properly.
Her loving family have spent their life-savings to pay for the operation, called selective dorsal rhizotomy.
Megan is classified as having mild cerebral palsy, and despite the fact she will only ever walk with a severe limp and splints without the procedure, it can only be performed in America.
Mum Tanja, 38, said: ‘We only found out that Megan has cerebral palsy last September, when she was three.
‘That was hard to find out so late, but we heard about a hospital in St Louis, in Missouri, which can help her. We’ve paid for the operation out of our own pocket and now we desperately need help to pay for her physiotherapy afterwards.’
The St Louis Children’s Hospital can operate on children as young as two at a cost of around £30,000. Afterwards, children need to have up to two years’ intensive physiotherapy, which can cost over £1,000 per month.
The same hospital operated on three-year old Harvey Young, from Titchfield, six months ago and when Tanja, and her husband Richard, heard about Harvey’s operation, and how much he has progressed since, they knew it was the right thing to do.
Richard, 39, said: ‘I started looking at websites about this operation.
‘It was clear that in the UK it would be difficult as Megan has mild cerebral palsy.
‘In the US it is totally different, in fact the mild patients are the ones that get the best response.
‘There was a lot of anxious reading, trying to understand, and I discovered I worked with Harvey’s dad – he put us in touch with a consultant and it snowballed from there.’
Megan and her twin sister Chloe were born two months premature. Megan can walk, but not very far. The operation will remove the spasticity in her legs.
Richard said: ‘Without this operation, she will have a prominent limp, will be in pain and more than likely have to have some kind of stick. Megan will probably always walk with an odd gait but it will be close to normal.
‘She will be able to go through life without the social implications.’
The family has set up a website at megansfuture.com and has already raised nearly £500 of their £18,000 target.
To make a donation go to justgiving.com/Megan-s-Future-Appeal.