If you’ve been following the progress of my nephew Tal, there was big news from Saint Louis yesterday!
Tal (Taliesin) has been in the US for almost a month, undergoing spinal surgery and weeks of physiotherapy to reduce the effects of cerebral palsy. The procedure he has undergone is called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) and is a fascinating operation. To give him a chance to dramatically improve his life, Tal’s parents, Jon and Claire, began a campaign to raise more than £40,000 to get Tal to Saint Louis for the operation. They succeeded with the help of many family, friends and strangers.
Thanks to regularly updated blogs from Jon and Claire on Tal’s website – and from Marilyn, Tal’s grandma, on her blog – we have been able to watch Tal’s progress as it has happened. During the past few weeks of physio, Tal has gone from intensive care to scooting around in his chair to tentatively walking on sticks and now to confidently dashing around on them. In the past week we’ve seen Tal doing things that would have been unthinkable a few months ago, like climbing(!). It has regularly left us stunned and awed.
Yesterday, Taliesin had a follow-up appointment with Dr Park, the surgeon who developed still performs the SDR operation at the Saint Louis Children’s Hospital. According to Claire, Tal walked up up to Dr Park with his canes and said “thank you for making my feet all better” and gave him a big hug. Dr Park says that Tal’s prognosis is excellent. He thinks that Taliesin will probably walk independently within a year. I’m just going to say that again in bold caps in case it didn’t sink in: TALIESIN WILL PROBABLY WALK INDEPENDENTLY WITHIN A YEAR.
Once again, many thanks to everybody who has helped out with the campaign. It seems that with everybody’s help, Tal’s wish to change his naughty feet into good feet may have come true.