AN OPERATION to give a young Sleaford lad a new lease of life has been hailed a success by his surgeon.
Joel James, 11, underwent his life-changing Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation in St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, USA on Friday.
His surgery was performed by the hospital’s leading surgeon in the field, Dr T. Park, who declared Joel’s surgery a success and expects Joel to be leading a completely normal life and to be running around like other boys in two years time.
Since the procedure on Friday, Joel had to lie flat for two days afterwards but was able to have a go at some painting just two hours after coming round from the surgery.
On Saturday he suffered terribly with itching as a side effect from the epidural anaesthetic, but after a change of medication it has calmed down and his mum Karen said that he has been really brave and is coping well.
She said: “It is tough going, but the end result will be worth it. Today he is happier and cannot wait to get the wires and tubes out so that he can come out of bed.”
Joel was transferred from his bed to a wheelchair for the first time on Monday and his family were allowed to take him for a walk in the hospital grounds and went upto the garden on the eighth floor, before taking him back to his room for a much-deserved rest.
He will need a lot of intensive physical therapy to be able to reach his goal to run for the first time, but Karen said that Joel is ready for the challenge:
“We feel like he will be running in his own Olympics this summer with all the therapy and hard work he will be doing.”
Dr Park has said that Joel has tight hamstrings and heel cords, but he has given his family three different exercises to try at home which will hopefully avoid Joel needing further heel cord and hamstring surgery.