A CORK family fundraising to cover the costs of life-changing surgery for their five-year-old daughter have almost reached their €80,000 target.
Ali Murphy was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy at 18 months. She has tightness or spasticity which means that she is unable to stand or walk on her own.
Ali’s parents Neville and Laura Murphy hope that surgery called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) will help to remove the spasticity in Ali’s muscles, making it easier for her to move and helping her to gain more independence.
“She isn’t as mobile as she could be so this surgery, we hope, would give her the increased independence that she needs,”said Mr Murphy.
Ali’s parents have been offered a date for the life-changing surgery for Ali in Leeds Children’s Hospital this April.
“It just gives her a shot really and that’s the visible thing, but it will ease her pain basically.
“She has had this since day one, so we don’t know what pain she’s in because she’s used to the pain, but she sleeps kind of curled up… and she does complain sometimes of pains in the night-time and she’s just used to them.
“The intangible benefit that we won’t be able to see will ease her pain,” he added.
The combined cost of the surgery, including physio and time in Leeds, however, is about €80,000.
Ali’s family set up a fundraiser in recent days and have already raised over €77,000.
They say they have been “blown away” by the support from their local community in Crosshaven.
“There really is a community spirit,” said Mr Murphy.
“We’re not here that long, we came over from Monkstown probably about five years ago, but a lot of people would have seen her from going around in her walker and unbeknownst to us, a lot of people would have known her just to see.”
Ali’s parents have also given a special thanks to her school, Educate Together in Carrigaline, and Heronswood Childcare for their support.
Mr Murphy described Ali as “feisty” and “independent” and with the local community rallying around them, the family are hopeful that they will meet their target in time.
To donate, visit Allegra’s SDR Journey on GoFundMe.com.