Barnack youngster Jack Rickard’s operation at Great Ormong Street Hospital hailed a success

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Brave youngster Jack Rickard is on the road to recovery after undergoing major surgery at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

The seven-year-old from Barnack, who suffers from cerebral palsy, underwent a four-hour operation on Friday, August 12.

The procedure, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), was carried out by Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon Mr Kristian Aquilina.

The intention was to remove most of the spasticity – or stiffness – in Jack’s legs, giving him the best possible chance of living an active life and staying out of a wheelchair.

Speaking to the Mercury from London, Jack’s dad Steve said: “The first two or three days were pretty tough for all of us, but the surgery went well. In fact, the surgeon said it was a textbook operation.

“We think they’ve reduced about 60 per cent of the spasticity in his legs. A lot of the tight muscles have been disabled, his legs are now a lot more wobbly and the physiotherapy to get them stronger and to get Jack walking again has already begun.

“This week has been beautiful. He’s making great progress. Jack can’t currently stand, but he is crawling and we’re looking to come out of this with a really positive result.”

As previously reported, the SDR operation is not currently available on the NHS, so Jack’s parents Steve and Shona launched a big fundraising drive to pay for it themselves.

They have already raised more than £50,000 and are closing in on their £60,000 target.

Steve added: “Immediately after the operation, Jack had to have three days of bed rest which he found difficult but as soon as he was allowed up and helped into a wheelchair his life opened up.

“Jack has now been moved off the ward and all of us – Jack, Shona, Jack’s twin Ava and I – are currently living in a family centre on site and taking him back inside the hospital every day for three hours of physio.

“Mr Aquilina is one of the best in the country at this type of surgery and we are very thankful for his efforts.”

Jack is due to stay in hospital until September 2 and by then he is expected to be up and walking again.

After returning home, he’ll have around six hours of physio a week for two years.

You can follow Jack’s progress at www.facebook.com/JacksJourney6/