It’s a call to arms for Hampshire residents as nine-year-old Jemima Syvret, who was born with quadriplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, is preparing for her next operation.
Jemima’s parents, Jo and Andrew Syvret, need to raise up to £35,000 to send Jemima to the USA for vital muscle lengthening surgery, in a bid to give their daughter a more independent future.
The Barker-Mill Foundation (BMF) has pledged their support in the sum of £5,000 to help towards the cost of surgery. The Foundation supported Jemima’s initial spinal operation back in 2014, selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), to help her walk on her own. She has made great progress following this procedure, and medics have now recommended further surgery on her muscles to help her range of movement as she continues to progress.
Jemima will have her operation at a hospital in Texas that specialises in surgery of post SDR children. The procedure will help lengthen Jemima’s hamstrings, leg adductors and bicep muscles to give her more freedom of movement.
The couple have raised just over £10,000 in only three weeks but have a long way to go to reach their target, with the operation due to take place in July.
Andrew Syvret said: “We’re so pleased BMF has helped us again towards giving our daughter the best chance for a bright future. We want Jemima to be as capable as she can and the donation is bringing us closer to making that happen.
“The team in the USA has confirmed that they can undertake the surgery in July, but this hasn’t left us with much time to raise the funds needed. Local parents and my wife are selling ice creams outside the school gates, and we’re doing everything possible to make this happen, but any help would be greatly appreciated.”
Jemima is now struggling to extend her arms and legs fully as her muscles have not lengthened as she has grown and built her strength post SDR. The tightness of her muscles is restricting her progress as she grows and this will only worsen as time goes on, unless she has the surgery.
Tim Jobling, Trustee of The Barker-Mill Foundation said: “Andrew contacted us again and we had to help. Jemima deserves the best chance in life and we wanted to help as much as we could to fund this second operation.
“Going to the USA gives Jemima the best chance and we’re calling for people in our local area to do what they can to help send Jemima to Texas for this life changing operation. We wish the Syvret’s the best of luck in their fundraising and hope they reach the target.”
If you’d like to make a donation, please visit the family’s fundraising page: http://www.treeofhope.org.uk/jemimasjourney/