Five-year-old Kai Hodgkinson undergoes surgery this week to give him the chance to walk unaided.

Brothers Codie Hodgkinson, 11 and Kai Hodgkinson, 5, at home in Poulton.
Brothers Codie Hodgkinson, 11 and Kai Hodgkinson, 5, at home in Poulton.

Brave Kai prepares for surgery to help him walk

The youngster, who has cerebral palsy, has the selective dorsal rhizotomy operation tomorrow (Thursday) in Leeds.

His family fund-raised tirelessly for two years through a campaign led by the Fleetwood Weekly News, to get the money for the surgery.

And mum Caron has issued a heartfelt ‘thank you’ to 
everyone for their support.

Full of trepidation, Caron told the Weekly News this week how she almost cancelled the operation.

“I had a bit of a moment last week when I questioned whether it was the right thing to do,” she said.

“Putting him through it all is really scary, and I did wonder whether it was worth it.

“It’s not really the operation I’m worried about. It’s the aftermath and all the physio he will have to go through.

“He won’t be able to walk at all for the first four days, and that will be difficult for him.

“ We don’t know how successful the op will be, but we have been assured he won’t be any worse.”

The operation involves cutting some of the nerves in the lower spinal column, which can help relieve leg stiffness.

Months and months of intense physiotherapy will follow to stretch Kai’s muscles and to help him relearn how to control movement in his legs.

Eventually, it is hoped he will be able to walk without frames and splints.

The family now live in Poulton and Caron and Kai’s dad, Brian, said they originally wanted him to have the operation in America, but a specialist surgeon in Leeds agreed to carry out the life-changing 

“He knows it’s happening and he knows he won’t be able to walk at all at first,” said 
Caron. “But it’s such a big thing to go through. I’m so proud of him, and our other children because they have put up with a lot. We are so grateful to everyone for their support to raise the money. Their care has been amazing – thank you.”