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Hi my name is Malachi from Croydon. I am 10 years old and I have cerebral palsy. I was delivered by emergency c-section 6 weeks early after suffering foetal distress whilst in my mum’s tummy. I weighed 4lb 7oz and they put me in an incubator to stabilise my breathing overnight and then kept me in hospital for over two weeks to put on weight. I was eventually diagnosed at 18 months with spastic diplegia because I wasn’t reaching the normal milestones expected.

I am unable to stand alone and cannot walk without the aid of my walking frame or tripod sticks and I need my wheelchair for longer distances. My condition causes the muscles in my legs to be very tight, which is known as spasticity. I need help from my family all the time to move from sitting to standing or transferring to the toilet or shower, which is a real struggle.

I do daily exercises to ease the intense tightness and spasticity in my muscles which become tighter as I grow. I have always wished I could run or even walk unaided around the playground to play football with my friends instead of being the referee in a wheelchair or the boy sitting on the side lines watching with tears in my eyes and an aching heart.

There is, however, the chance of a life changing operation carried out by Dr. Park at St. Louis Hospital in America – an operation called SDR (selective dorsal rhizotomy). To put this simply, this is an operation done by making a small incision at the lower back and testing the nerves individually by using electrical currents, which then shows which nerves are sending ‘faulty’ signals from my brain to my muscles to cause the spasticity. The ‘faulty’ ones are then carefully cut and the spasticity disappears.

If you want to know more about the SDR operation or St. Louis Children’s Hospital then please visit this link:

For me to be able to have this operation the amount we will need to raise for Tree of Hope will be £80,000 to cover the cost of the operation, the ongoing intensive Physiotherapy after the operation and the special gym equipment that I will need to aid my recovery.

Should we exceed the target amount or if we do not raise enough funds, or if they cannot be used for any other reason, the funds raised will go to the general funds of Tree of Hope to assist other sick children.

I am grateful for any donation, however small it is. Any amount will go towards making my “only wish” come true.

Please support Malachi

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