Liam – Children & Young People


Liam was born 10 weeks early causing him to develop cerebral palsy (CP).

Liam’s Mum Rachel says, “When our son Liam was diagnosed with CP at 18 months we were told he may never walk unaided.” In order to move around he needed a walking frame and leg splints. He was at risk of needing a wheelchair by the time he was a teenager, couldn’t play football, or do what he most wanted to – run like his friends.”

Rachel and Neil were made aware of a procedure for children with difficulties like Liam – called selective dorsal rhizotommy (SDR). It’s a neurosurgical procedure where surgeons cut nerves in the spine during a five-hour procedure, which frees tension on the legs.

Having found out about the procedure, and being sure that it was the way forward for their family, NHS funding for the operation was refused, so Neil and Rachel started trying to raise the £25,000 needed for the operation, which was to be conducted in America. Liam’s story was featured in the Sunderland Echo, with one anonymous donor making a £20,000 donation.

Liam wanted to be able to play with other children of his age on an equal level, especially being able to run and play football. Now, two years on, he has joined a football team.

Rachel says “The therapists that have worked with Liam have been fantastic, helping him build strength, balance, co-ordination and confidence. Now at the age of 8 he walks unaided and even plays football. We cannot thank Neural Pathways enough for all the care and support they have given Liam. They have transformed his life. Without the operation he would have ended up in a wheelchair, but hopefully that’s not even in the picture now.”