Katie (7) close to realising dream of walking
The family of a seven-year-old Irish girl who dreams of being able to walk are in a race against time to secure life-changing surgery in the US.
Katie Byrne requires €60,000 for specialist surgery at a Missouri hospital to enable her to walk normally.
Her parents, Robert and Antoinette, from Dublin but who live in Cobh, Co Cork, are agonisingly just €8,000 short of their target to fund Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).
A total of €51,000 has been pledged by supporters and the couple hope to raise the balance within the next month so Katie can undergo the procedure in Missouri on October 23.
The operation has to be paid for one month in advance, so the couple are desperate to get all pledges in. Major fundraising has been undertaken in Dublin with Antoinette from Coolock and Robert from Stepaside.
The special SDR procedure at Washington University Hospital has been hugely successful in helping patients like Katie resolve their muscle, hamstring and tendon issues resulting from cerebral palsy.
"She is such a wonderful girl and we want her to be able to walk and play just like any other little girl," the couple said.
At 17 months, Katie was diagnosed as having cerebral palsy. "She once asked me why she can't walk like the other children? When your child asks that, it is heartbreaking," Antoinette said.
Further information can be obtained from www.katiesdreamtowalk.com