Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 24°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Ipswich: Courageous Brooke’s dream to walk comes a step closer

12:30 29 November 2012

Brooke Lawrance in hospital ready for her operation

Brooke Lawrance in hospital ready for her operation

Archant

A LONG-AWAITED dream for seven-year-old Brooke Lawrance is starting to become a reality today.

shares

Nearly a fortnight ago the youngster, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby and has to use a wheelchair, underwent a life-changing operation in America.

Just days after the pioneering selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, she took her first tentative steps towards walking on her own two feet.

Her proud mum Sarah Lawrance, of Morland Road, Ipswich, said: “The operation went really well.

“Brooke is already doing things that she couldn’t do before the surgery like side-stepping, walking up steps assisted and her walking is so much better.

“She has an hour of physio at hospital and an hour a day at home with some stretches to improve her mobility.

“There’s a long way to go but she’s getting there.”

Determined Brooke spent her seventh birthday in a hospital bed but received dozens of birthday cards and presents from loved ones back home.

She also enjoyed Skype and video messaging with her family and friends to keep her spirits up.

Brooke’s journey

October 2011 - The Lawrance family launches the fundraising campaign

February 2012 - Mayor of Ipswich officially launches Brooke’s Wish To Walk appeal

May 2012 - Brooke is rejected from having the operation at Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital

September 2012 - Date is set for life-changing operation in America

November 2012 - Brooke has the pioneering surgery

The whole Lawrance family, including dad Peter, sisters Nadine and Neve and brother Samuel, travelled to America earlier this month before Brooke had the operation on November 15.

Although Brooke has been discharged from hospital, she will have to return on Tuesday for her second operation.

The brave youngster will undergo an orthopaedic operation on both her heel cords to achieve the best possible outcome of the main surgery.

The family, who has been fundraising for the £70,000 needed for the surgery since October last year, will be spending a total of five weeks in America while Brooke recovers from her treatment.

Mr Lawrance said: “All being well we should fly home on December 15 and the hope is to enjoy a big family Christmas together.”

The generosity of family, friends and complete strangers made Brooke’s dream come true by raising more than £62,000.

Another £3,000 is needed before Town 102FM donate the final £5,000.

Upcoming fundraisers include a team climbing Mount Everest and Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table’s annual Santa and Rudolph float will be travelling around Ipswich next month in aid of the appeal.

The family was left heartbroken earlier in the year after a businessman vanished having promised to help raise money for the appeal.

As revealed in The Star in October, a car finance executive from Scotland offered to arrange rides in supercars as auction prizes, but disappeared shortly after the successful bidders were due to collect their prizes.

Visit www.justgiving.com/brookeswishtowalk to donate.

n Send your messages of support for Brooke to Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail starletters@archant.co.uk

shares

0 comments

Police are investigating

Essex Police are investigating after silver-plated cutlery and an imitation Rolex watch were stolen from the house in Fennes Road.

The scene of the collision on the A1088 at Honington.

Dr Ronak Patel, aged 33 of Ixworth, died following a collision between a lorry and the Volkswagen Golf he was driving this morning.

Ipswich Magistrates Court in Elm Street.

A dishonest driver has admitted filling up with petrol on 14 occasions at garages across Suffolk and Essex but failing to pay for his fuel.

An 82-year-old woman who died after a collision in Little Wigborough near Colchester last month has been named as Jean Wilcox.

An 82-year-old woman who died after a collision in Little Wigborough near Colchester last month has been named as Jean Wilcox.

The scene after a raid at the Costcutter supermarket in Woolpit.

Crooks used a stolen JCB Digger to smash into a supermarket and steal a cash machine thought to have contained thousands of pounds in a ram raid in Suffolk.

Ipswich Magistrates Court in Elm Street.

A Mothercare shop worker had admitted stealing childcare and maternity items worth nearly £12,500 and selling a stolen pushchair to a police officer.

Ipswich Crown Court

A robber who broke into an Ipswich flat before threatening the occupant with a kitchen knife has been jailed.

Hare coursing (stock photo)

Four men and a teenage boy arrested in connection with hare coursing in Suffolk have been charged, police have said.

Wayne Leech and Mark Ripper with soap star Gemma Atkinson at the Slimming World Man of the Year awards

Two Suffolk men have shed a total of more than 21st in little over a year – and been named among the country’s top male slimmers for 2015.

Rural crime has been falling in Suffolk and across East Anglia.

New figures show a significant fall in the level of rural crime across the region – but there are significant differences between Suffolk and Essex.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages