The parents of a three-year-old boy with cerebral palsy hope he will be walking by Christmas, after doctors said Botox could help relax the muscles in his legs. Aiden Farrell was diagnosed with the condition after he was born prematurely at 29 weeks. Over the years his leg muscles have tightened to the extent that he can no longer walk.Doctors told Aiden's parents Sara and Gevun Farrell that the wrinkle-buster could help but there was a 12-month waiting list on the NHS.
The couple from Gosport, Hampshire, began fundraising to help pay for private Botox treatment. Local residents helped raise £7,000 to pay for the treatment. But after the three-year-old’s condition worsened last month, the NHS will now carry out the treatment on December 14. The money raised will now be spent on intensive physiotherapy for Aiden at the Bobath Centre in London.
Aiden Farrell will have the life-changing treatment to relax the over-active muscles in his legs
Although Botox first achieved fame as a cosmetic drug used by celebrities to smooth out wrinkles, it also has a number of medical uses such as treating migraines and incontinence. Botox uses tiny amounts of botulinum toxin, derived from the bacteria that cause botulism food poisoning. The deadly nerve agent kills by paralysing the muscles used for breathing. In tiny doses it relaxes the contraction of muscles in some people with cerebral palsy by blocking nerve impulses. This allows better control of movement and reduces the risk of muscle and tendon shortening. The effects tend to last from four to six months. Mrs Farrell, 31, hopes the treatment could mean that Aiden will be walking on Christmas day. She said: 'It will be the best Christmas present ever. Aiden is such a happy little boy and so determined. 'I don’t think he’s properly aware of what’s been going on and what’s going to happen because he’s still very young.'
Aiden's father (second left) and mother (third left) at a charity night held to raise money for Aiden
Before Aiden's condition worsened he was able to walk a little with a walking frame and play with his two older brothers and older sister. Mrs Farrell, a part-time care assistant, said: 'As a mum I feel useless that I can’t do anything apart from massage his legs to take the pain away.' Said she had been humbled by the generosity of fundraisers. She added: 'It means everything because without everybody’s help Aiden wouldn’t be able to have the physio afterwards. 'If the treatment works and Aiden’s walking again and in less pain, it’s all thanks to everybody. I am so thankful to everybody that helped. I’m making Aiden a scrapbook with stories about the fundraising so when he is at an age he can understand, I can show him.'
Mrs Farrell and Mr Farrell, a builder, 33, will take him to the physiotherapy centre for intensive therapy in January. Staff at the centre will teach Mrs Farrell how to continue the treatment at home. The remainder of the money will go on physiotherapy equipment and essential alterations to the family’s home. It is estimated one in 400 people in the UK have cerebral palsy, where a part of the brain, usually the part that controls the muscles and movement, is affected.
Source: Daily Mail UK