Twins head to America for vital treatment

Caroline Sutcliffe with her 16-year-old twin daughters Katie (*left) and Emma.
Caroline Sutcliffe with her 16-year-old twin daughters Katie (*left) and Emma.

Disabled Lancaster twins Katie and Emma Sutcliffe set off for America this weekend, hoping their dreams will come true.

The 16-year-olds suffer from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and need wheelchairs to get about.

They are hoping the specialist treatment they will undergo at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri will see them walk unaided for the first time.

Their appeal raised more than £80,000 towards the treatment – which will pay for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) procedures and physiotherapy, as well as keyhole surgery to lengthen their leg tendons.

SDR involves cutting some of the sensory nerve fibres that come from the muscles and enter the spinal cord to reduce tightness in the muscles and make it easier to walk.

The girls and their mum Caroline will spend a month in Missouri, as Katie and Emma will need extensive physiotherapy following the surgery.

Caroline said: “I can’t believe we are actually going!

“We are going to St Louis Children’s Hospital on June 30 and the girls are having the surgery on July 5.

“Following their SDR surgery they will have keyhole surgery two weeks later to lengthen their tendons, and the hard work will follow as they will have lots of physio to do to build up their muscle strength.”

Meanwhile, a charity football match being held at the Globe Arena in Morecambe on Sunday, July 14, kick-off 2pm, will raise money for the Twins Appeal, as well as Marie Curie.

Adult tickets are £6 each, children are £3 and family tickets are £15.