Surgery could help St. Thomas girl walk for the first time
Published Monday, January 21, 2019 2:34PM EST
It’s a chance to walk for the first time. That’s what a St. Thomas family is hoping for their three-year-old daughter.
When Natalie Ouelette was a baby she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy caused by a brain bleed during birth.
“We have to carry her around everywhere. She just gets tired a lot faster and she doesn’t have the flex in her leg and she has pains a lot,” says her dad Michael Ouellette.
“She can’t play normal with other kids and because of her cerebral palsy she also has epilepsy,” Natalie’s mom Emily says.
But there’s hope for Natalie with a surgery called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, which would reduce the spasticity in her nerves, giving her balance and a good chance of being able to walk independently
Natalie will have an initial assessment in May at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and the hopes are she is approved for surgery shortly afterward.
The one challenge however is the family will have to stay in Toronto for at least three months with Natalie and their one-year-old daughter, as well as travel back and forth to Toronto for up to a year for specialized rehabilitation.
“We are going around selling whatever we can but it won’t be enough because one of us will have to be off work so it’s stressful,” says her father.
The family has started a GoFundMe page to help with the medical costs, but Emily say no matter what, they will make sure Natalie gets this surgery.
“This surgery is literally life changing and if I can have my daughter walk I will do anything it takes to get this surgery.”