'˜Please help us': Louth mum's bid to give little Leonie a less painful life

The mother of a Louth girl with severe cerebral palsy is asking for the public's help to raise £35,000 for life-changing surgery and aftercare that could give her daughter a better quality of life.

Five-year-old Leonie Hadley-Wilkinson was born 12 weeks early following a ‘traumatic’ birth.

She spent three months in hospital before being allowed home but it was clear to her mum, Vicky, that something was not right.

Vicky said: “We gave Leonie the nickname ‘Chilli Bean’ as she was so small

Leonie Hadley-Wilkinson.

“We knew something wasn’t right but was told it was because of her prematurity.

“She wasn’t sitting, rolling, crawling, eating properly or anything of the usual expectations from a growing baby”.

After a first year check-up, an MRI scan concluded Leonie had cerebral palsy affecting all four limbs - and curvature of the spine.

Four years later, it still remains difficult for Leonie’s limbs to move freely. Any movements cause immense pain for the youngster.

Leonie Hadley-Wilkinson.

Now, Vicky is determined to try and give her daughter a better quality of life - but unfortunately it will come at a cost.

Vicky said: “We have now seen a Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon at Queens Medical Centre in Nottingham about a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation.

“It will help her limbs and get them to move more freely and be less painful for Leonie.

“And, it will be beneficial in other ways which are a everyday struggle for her.”

Vicky added: “Unfortunately the procedure is not funded by the NHS, and neither is the intensive aftercare physio in her recovery.

“So we have hit a brick wall in trying to get Leonie a better quality of life, and a much less painful one.

“Now we are asking for the public’s help with trying to raise the funds for this operation.

“Any amount of money will be gratefully appreciated.

“When she’s older, I would love to show Leonie the fundraising web page, and all the people who kindly helped!”

More than £1,100 has already been raised at the time of going to press.

Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/leonie-hadley-wilkinson to make a donation.

• Leonie’s family will be holding their first fundraising event from 2pm on Wednesday April 4, in which children and adults will sell homemade cakes to businesses on the Fairfield Industrial Estate.