Melissa's Dream to Dance

Just4Children are fundraising for life-changing surgery for Putney five year old


Donations can be made here

Sign up for our weekly Putney newsletter

Comment on this story on the

Melissa is a happy, funny and very brave girl aged 5 from Putney in London. She has an amazing personality and a most determined attitude. Melissa's main loves are arts and craft but her biggest dreams are to swim with her brother and dance with her friends.

Just4Children are fundraising for a life changing Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery which will help Melissa’s mobility and give her the life she deserves.

Melissa was born prematurely at 34 weeks. She is one of two and was born two minutes before her brother Francesco. Melissa suffered from terrible reflux, so quickly from being the bigger sister Melissa became the little one.

Apart from the reflux, soon we realized that her development was very different from her brother. At the age of 1 she was sadly diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy and PVL (Periventricular Leukomalacia) which was likely caused by a lack of oxygen at birth. This means that Melissa finds simple thinks like balancing, walking or sitting straight difficult due to the high spasticity in her lower limbs.

There is a surgery called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) which, although invasive, has an extremely high success rate and in the vast majority of cases significantly improves quality of life. The procedure aims to reduce spasticity (tight and stiff muscle tone) in the lower limbs, improve mobility and increase independence.

After four years of different intensive therapies, rehabilitation centres abroad, private physio and many more, the charity needs your help.

A spokesperson for the charity told this website: "The money raised for Just4Children helps us to continue with pre operation therapy, SDR surgery, orthopaedic surgery on her calves and hamstrings, post surgery rehabilitation therapy and specialised equipment.

"The amount of physio cannot be underestimated in the months and years following surgery. Our main motivation is Melissa’s future. We want Melissa to struggle less.

May 8, 2019

Bookmark and Share