Brave Jessica Penny this week underwent the operation that could give her a new life.
The five-year-old had surgery at a hospital in the United States after £60,000 was raised to help fund the procedure.
Jessica was left severely disabled and with cerebral palsy after midwives bungled her birth.
Last year friends and relatives began the fundraising effort that has enabled Jessica and her parents Lynne and Colin of Broomieknowe Drive, Burnside, to travel to St Louise Children’s Hospital in St Louis, Missouri, for the operation.
Called selective dorsal rhizotomy, it was developed in the 1980s and involves cutting sensory nerves in the bottom of the spine to permanently relieve muscle rigidity caused by cerebral palsy.
Many people with cerebral palsy have muscle rigidity in their lower limbs, making walking and sitting difficult.
Jessica’s operation was due to be performed by the chief neurosurgeon there, Dr TS Park. He has been carrying out the procedure for 20 years.
The Reformer spoke to Lynne and Colin before they jetted off to Missouri last Friday.
Lynne (34) said: “We were so busy, trying to get everyone ready, but now we’re all packed it’s finally sinking in and we’re getting quite nervous.
“The thing is I know this is the right to do, 100 per cent, to try and give my daughter a better life. The muscles in her legs are getting tighter and causing more pain. We need to do this.”
The entire family, including dad Colin (35) and two-year-old sister Emily, will spend will spend four-and-a-half weeks in the US.
Colin, who is a chef at the Urban Bar and Brasserie in Glasgow, had to forego his holidays last year in order to be able to accompany the family on the trip.
Lynne added: “We would like to thank every single person who donated and helped us with charity events as we couldn’t have done this without them.
And the family’s stay in America has not been trouble-free. They reported that Jessica had to make an early visit to the hospital after hitting her head on the coffee table in their hotel.
Jessica was taken to A&E and treated for a small cut above her eye.
Midwives Lyn Foy and Donna Jack were struck off last year after it was found that when delivering Jessica they failed to carry out numerous checks and did not notice the unborn baby’s heart rate dropping.
As a result Jessica was starved of oxygen and left severely disabled, with a vocabulary of just six words.