Joe’s op went ‘perfectly’

Joe Knowles, four, after a five-hour operation on his legs in Leeds.
Joe Knowles, four, after a five-hour operation on his legs in Leeds.
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Little Joe Knowles has spent his first days at home following a lengthy operation which will see him walk unaided for the first time.

Joe, of Bispham, travelled to Leeds for the five-hour operation at the beginning of this month, and will need intense physiotherapy for the next two years at least.

He will be in hospital until the end of June, but was allowed home for the weekend with his family.

Dad Mike said: “Joe is doing really well.

“According to his surgeon, John Goodden, everything went perfectly well with regards to Joe’s surgery. He spent two days on a high dependency unit immediately after his surgery last Thursday, and has been recovering back on the ward since Saturday evening.”

Joe has been having two physio sessions a day since Monday.

Mike said the physio team at Leeds was impressed with Joe’s progress.

“He is doing amazingly well, mainly due to the fact that he is so determined and confident,” he added.

Joe was looking forward to coming home on Friday, but he’s back in Leeds today for another week of physiotherapy.

Joe has cerebral palsy, affecting mainly the muscles in his legs and making them so tight that he could not stand or walk unaided – even sitting on the floor with his legs outstretched was very difficult for him.

He needed a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy procedure, which involved a surgeon cutting around two thirds of the nerves leading to Joe’s legs, preventing them causing the stiffness that keeps him from walking without support.

The operation was not available to the Knowles family on the NHS, so in January they set up a £38,000 Joe’s Dream to Walk appeal to help pay for the procedure.

Ahead of their trip to Leeds, the target was met and smashed, and currently stands at £41,380.

Now the family is tasked with transforming its untidy garage into a fit-for-purpose gym where Joe will receive his physiotherapy once he’s returned home for good.

The family is unable to use the charity funds to pay for it so is calling on the kindness of Fylde coast folk once again who can donate materials, including bricks and flooring, and labour for the work.

If you can help, contact Mike and Sue through their website