Stretford couple fundraising to help their daughter walk

Jo and Leila

Jo and Leila

First published in News
Last updated
Messenger Newspapers: Photograph of the Author by , Arts Reporter

A STRETFORD couple are appealing for funds to help their daughter join in all the playground games with her school friends.

Leila McMurray, aged six, has cerebral palsy and her mum Jo said she is often forced to sit and watch as her classmates have fun.

Jo said she and dad Tom need to raise £25,000 so the youngster can have the surgery they believe will drastically improve her walking ability.

This will pay for a procedure known as a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and Jo, from Hillingdon Road, said they need to raise a further £10,000 to fund physiotherapy.

But the 42-year-old said so far health chiefs have refused to pay for the procedure - and she and Tom are the third Trafford couple to mount the same fundraising campaign.

Jo said Leila is a very confident little girl and attends Oswald Primary School in Chorlton.

She said: “She can walk but she falls and trips, she can’t run, she can’t jump and she can’t do the things she wants to do. She said to me yesterday, my friends ask me to chase them in the playground and I can’t do that. She wants to be able to dance with them and she wants to be able to twirl around.

“It’s very frustrating for her and her friends don’t mean to do it but she ends up being left out of games. She wants to play and then she can’t keep up with them. She’s got lovely friends who try to play with her.”

Jo said any delay in Leila having the operation could result in future damage to her joints and hips in later life.

She said: “As she gets older and heavier the stresses are greater on her joints and on her bones.”

Jo, an English teacher at Loreto Sixth Form College in Manchester, and her husband Tom, 41, have three other children, John, 18, Sam, 14, and Jake, 5.

A spokesperson for NHS England said: "We sympathise with the family who feel they may benefit from this treatment. However selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is not routinely funded by the NHS as the current evidence base does not yet demonstrate sufficient clinical and cost effectiveness for its routine use.

“However, it has been identified by clinicians and patient representatives as showing significant ‘promise’ as a potential treatment option for the future and forms part of the Commissioning through Evaluation programme.”

* Anyone interested in supporting the fundraising campaign should visit

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