Disappointing Health Service answer for Brooke

A CARNOUSTIE family has been left disappointed after the NHS decided not give them a decision on a life-changing operation.

Brooke Ramsay (7) and her family had petitioned the NHS to fund an operation to remove spasticity caused by cerebral palsy from her legs.

The selective dorsal rhizotomy is a neurosurgical procedure which would enable Brooke to walk normally, and is only available for her age group from the North Bristol NHS Trust.

The family waited months for a decision, and were turned down for funding, which they appealed.

However, after six further weeks of waiting, the NHS gave the Ramsays a decision of sorts.

Parents Laura and Stewart explained: “In the appeal Brooke’s consultants were asking for NHS Tayside to consider referring her to Bristol for assessment, then they would have a better idea on just how the surgery would benefit her.

“We finally got an update today (Wednesday) but not what we hoped for. They have refused to say yes or no and want a meeting with all medical professionals to look to create a ‘pathway’ for referrals for every child.

“They could not give us any timescales for this meeting or any decision that might arise from it. So six weeks after the appeal, and there is no clear answer to the question that we were told was specifically asked of them.

“The wait continues.”

On hearing the news Brooke and her twin sister, Amy, were quick to respond and penned a reply to the NHS.

The letter read: “We are Amy and Brooke. Just to let you know that the information was not as good as we were hoping.

“We were hoping for an answer, because no answer was rubbish.”

NHS Tayside medical director Dr Andrew Russell said: “We have deferred the decision to offer Brooke a referral for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) while we carry out a review looking at the potential of developing a system of out of area referral for this procedure.

“We appreciate that the family feel they are in a difficult situation but we hope to continue to work with them so we can achieve the best possible clinical outcome for Brooke.”

All is not lost as fund-raising continues regardless. On Christmas Eve a collection was held at the Christingle service at Barry Parish Church and the congregation donated a total of £223 to the cause.

Adele and Justin Leyton of Arbroath held a Christmas party in aid of Brooke’s Dream and managed to raised £200, which they presented to Brooke on Tuesday.

On January 27 at 7.30 p.m. the ‘Rock for Brooke’ concert will be held at the Cliffburn Hotel in Arbroath, and has been organised by Connor Warren.

Tickets are £5 and can be bought directly from the Cliffburn Hotel or by contacting Brooke’s Dream through Facebook or on brookes-dream@hotmail.co.uk.

Tomorrow (Saturday) Brooke will have pride of place at the opening of the ‘For Carnoustie’ charity shop.

She has been asked to cut the ribbon as Brooke’s Dream is one of the local causes that the shop intends to support with their proceeds.