Calrton Colville boy’s surgery appeal

Little Owen Baldry will celebrate his third birthday today with a party and a few special presents.

But as he eagelry opens his presents this morning his family are appealing for public support so they can give him the one gift they know he needs above all others – a life-changing operation that will enable him to walk for the first time.

Owen, from Carlton Colville, has being diagnosed with cerebral palsy (spastic diplegia) since he was 22 months and he faces pain and discomfort on a daily basis.

His parents Carl and Sacha launched Owen's Wish2Walk campaign in an effort to raise �50,000 for an operation in America in October.

They are planning a series of events to fund the selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery(SDR) ,which is rarely carried out in this country.

Mrs Baldry, 22, said: 'We accepted Owen couldn't walk and tried to get on with our lives, until we heard about SDR surgery.

'We made a one-hour video of Owen and sent x-rays to the St Louis Children's Hospital, a centre for cerebral palsy spasticity.

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'We then received an e-mail saying Owen would be a great candidate and would definitely walk within two years. We were on top of the world.'

The family hope to raise the money that will pay for Owen to be treated by renowned American neurosurgeon Dr Tae Park, who has been successfully carrying out the SDR operation since the 1980s.

The first SDR operation in England was successfully performed last May, but the Bristol hospital that performs it only carries out one or two SDR operations per month – and only children aged five and over are currently being assessed for it.

Mr Baldry, 27, said: 'As Owen is already suffering secondary complications, including daily back pain and a partial dislocation of the left hip, it's unthinkable for us to wait an entire two years for him to become eligible for assessment in Britain, especially when there is no guarantee that the PCT will fund him.

'To prevent further hip dislocation, feet deformities and the possible need for future orthopaedic surgeries, Owen needs this operation as soon as possible.'

The family are starting their fund-raising with a car boot sale on Saturday, January 28 – at Carlton Colville Community Centre.

Further events planned include a pub crawl, indoor car boot and a football match.

To support the family, visit Owen's SDR dream on Facebook, log onto or ring Mr Baldry on 07916 859358 to book a table for the car boot sale which runs from 2.15pm to 4.30pm, with free entry.

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