independent

Monday 22 July 2019

Sophia gets date for US operation

Sophia Griffin
Sophia Griffin

Margaret Roddy

The family of Sophia Griffin have plenty to celebrate this week as the four year old who has cerebral palsy got the date for life-changing surgery in the United States at the same time as their fund-raising efforts have reached the €100,000 mark.

A delighted Mum Catriona said: 'We are over the moon. It's amazing. It's all we ever wanted.'

The family set up fund-raising page for their daughter just before Christmas and started organising events in February to raise the €100,000 needed so that they can travel to the St. Louis's Children's Hospital in Missouri so that Sophia can benefit from revolutionary surgery performed by the world's top neurosurgeon Dr. T. S. Park.

Now, they have been told that their wait is over and that Sophia, who was diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and PVL (periventricular leukomalcia) of the brain just after her second birthday in 2017, will have her surgery on September 26.

'This is what we've been waiting for,' said Catriona. 'It is absolutely brilliant and to have raised the €100,000 at the same time is just brilliant. We never thought we'd get €100,000 but people have just been fantastic. Everyone wants to help - absolute strangers have been coming up to us and offering to help.'

Catriona said that Sophia is delighted with the news. 'We've been very open with her and have told her that she will be having surgery and staying in hospital but she's very excited about the news as it's all she talks about. All her cousins and the kids in the estate are always asking when are Sophia's legs going to be fixed so it's great to be able to tell them that it's happening.'

The family will travel to the Missouri to meet with Dr Park on September 23 and Sophia will have her surgery three days. She will be in hospital for a week and will have to return for intense physio sessions for the following three weeks, before being discharged on October 22, meaning her Dad Gerry will be hope in time to compete in the Dublin City Marathon as part of his fund-raising.

'This surgery is life-changing. It means Sophia will be able to walk, dance and play sports. Dr Park has invented this surgery and has been doing it since the 1980s so we know we are taking her to the best in the world which is very comforting,' said Catriona.

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