Family of boy with cerebral palsy fund-raise for op after NHS snub

Arsenal star Alex Iwobi helps bid to find £50,000 by donating football

Friday, 10th February 2017 — By Tom Foot

Troy Mooney

Two-year-old Troy Mooney

A FAMILY have started fundraising so a two-year-old boy with cerebral palsy can have an operation that the NHS will not fund.

Mother Victoria Mooney, from West Hampstead, said she wants give her son Troy the chance to start playing football like his brother.

She needs £50,000 so that a consultant from Great Ormond Street Hospital can carry out the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation on her son. The procedure– which corrects physical muscle stiffness caused by the neurological condition – is not available on the NHS, so they have been forced to go private.

Troy Mooney with his father Dean

Ms Mooney, 33, said: “Troy is a massive footie fan and loves to cheer on his brother from the sidelines every Saturday morning at the local playing fields. We hope one day he too can join in, one day soon.”

Troy’s oldest brother, Jerome, plays football for Camden Elite in the Regent’s Park youth league and the club is hoping to organise a fund-raising tournament for the family. Arsenal footballer Alex Iwobi has donated a signed football to the fundraising campaign and a team of supporters packed bags at the O2 Sainsbury’s tills in Finchley Road to raise money.

Ms Mooney said Troy was “sound as a pound mentally” and that his CP “just affects his legs”. “He started nursery at Kilburn Grange a few weeks ago and he wanted to go outside to play in the playground, but he was crawling around on the ground,” she said.

“He loved it though. He’s such a big personality, he was talking to everyone and chatting away with them. Kids – they don’t see cerebral palsy.” She added: “If he doesn’t have this operation, he will probably continue on with physiotherapy and may get a leg casting around four to six. At six, seven, eight, he’ll be part-time wheelchair.”

NHS England said it did not routinely fund SDR because “there is not yet sufficient evidence of its effectiveness” com­pared to other treatments available, but a major research programme into its effectiveness is underway.

An NHS England spokesperson said: “Current evidence is limited, but together with NICE we are exploring SDR further through our innovative evaluation programme which offers treatment to a limited number of patients who meet the clinical criteria. “Not only does this enable these children to have potentially life-changing surgery, but it also provides a real opportunity to gather the vital evidence we need on the effectiveness of the procedure, for the benefit of our patients.”

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