New hope for poorly Sam

Sam Bottomley with his mum and dad - Karen and Stephen Bottomley. (D512L403)
Sam Bottomley with his mum and dad - Karen and Stephen Bottomley. (D512L403)
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A little boy whose disability brought a whole town together has left hospital after what could prove to be life-changing surgery.

Sam Bottomley, six, who has cerebral palsy, had an operation earlier this month that should eventually allow him to walk independently.

Sam’s mum, Karen Bottomley, said: “We were extremely anxious the week before the operation, and the day before took that anxiety to another level. John Goodden, the neurosurgeon, said it would be perfectly normal if we began having second thoughts but that didn’t happen for us. We knew we had made the right decision.”

The operation marked the conclusion of the Sam’s Wish to Walk campaign – a mammoth fundraising drive by the people of Mirfield which collected more than £50,000 for the operation and subsequent physiotherapy. The surgery took place at Leeds General infirmary on September 4 and, although successful, Karen said Sam still had a long way to go with his recovery.

“After the surgery, we could feel the difference in muscle tone in his legs – they were very relaxed,” she said. “He has been fine since the operation – he gets quite tired, but that is understandable when he is using his legs properly for the first time – it’s like he’s having to learn all over again.”

Sam will now visit a physiotherapist to build up muscle strength for at least two years, which is where most of the Sam’s Wish funds will be spent.

He hopes to be back at school in the next few weeks.

Karen reserved a special mention for Haigh’s Farm, which rounded off the fundraising with a Party in a Barn event which raised £5,000.

She added: “I want to say thank you again to everyone who helped Sam and his wish to walk.”