Still no NHS decision for Brooke

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THE PARENTS of Carnoustie girl Brooke Ramsay say they are anxiously waiting for a decision from the NHS about funding.

Brooke, who suffers from a form of cerebral palsy which affects her mobility, has applied for funding for a life-changing operation at the Frenchay Hospital in Bristol.

The selective dorsal rhizotomy will be carried out by a neurosurgeon to reduce spasticity in her legs, hopefully enabling her to walk without difficulty.

However, the application for funding was made three months ago, and as yet the Primary Care Trust responsible have given the family no answer.

Her mother, Laura, said: “We are obviously delighted by the way the fund-raising campaign has been going, although we are a little frustrated by the length of time it is taking to get a decision from NHS Tayside on whether funding will be available for the surgery.

“This decision will determine exactly what we have left to do. We appreciate that it is not only Brooke that this decision is being made for, but she is our priority and so many professionals have already said that this is the way forward for her.

“It just seems to us to be a very straight-forward decision and disappointing that we are three months down the line and have still not heard.”

It is not all doom and gloom, however, as the Brooke’s Dream campaign has been growing rapidly. On Friday over 100 people went to see ‘Brooke’s Dream: The Concert’ raising £1,725 in the process.

Laura said: “The performances from Mark Masson, Fraser McGlynn, Colette Dear, Eilleen Robb, Maggie Findlay, and accompanist Alison Hart were spectacular.

“Mark’s Rev. I.M. Jolly was hilarious, and the girls loved Eileen Robb’s rendition of ‘Fireworks’ by Katy Perry. “The biggest surprise of the evening was when Mark performed ‘Colours’, a song that he and accompanist, Alison Hart, had written especially for Brooke. It was fantastic and very emotional.”

DVDs of the concert are available and can be bought directly from the Brooke’s Dream Facebook page for £10.

The fund also received a helping hand from the Arbroath Rotary Club on Wednesday when they presented Brooke with a cheque for £120 at Gayfield.

Also this week, local man Peter Marr handed over the proceeds from his own fund-raising efforts.

For his 60th birthday in October, Peter asked well-wishers to donate to Brooke’s Dream instead of giving presents, and raised £1,650.

He also auctioned off a signed Scotland top worn by Liverpool and Scottish internationalist Charlie Adam, which Charlie’s father had donated, for £1,000.

Tonight (Friday) a prize bingo night will be held in the Craw’s Nest, Carnoustie, at 7.30 p.m., a book of 10 games is £5, and food is included.

Laura and Stewart said: “The amazing news from our point of view is that we have raised nearly £30,000 to date.

“Some of the money from the October events is still to be collected, so if NHS fund the operation we’ve just about achieved everything that we had set out to do, and an awful lot quicker than we ever imagined possible.”

However, after-care treatment for Brooke is difficult to put a price on, and the Ramsays say they will continue to fund-raise until treatment is complete, with the remaining funds being distributed to local good causes.