Mission for Macey: Life-changing surgery goes well for little girl who dreams of walking

Macey on the day of her surgery in hospital. Picture: Robyn Clarke
Macey on the day of her surgery in hospital. Picture: Robyn Clarke

The parents of a three-year-old girl who was born unable to use her legs have said they can see a difference in their daughter already, after her life-changing surgery went well.

The Harrogate Advertiser Series launched the 'Mission for Macey' campaign in November last year, to raise the £35,000 needed to pay for a surgical procedure that would give little Macey Clarke the independence to walk.

Macey, always smiling, on day three of her stay in hospital. Picture: Robyn Clarke

Macey, always smiling, on day three of her stay in hospital. Picture: Robyn Clarke

Since then Macey's family, who live in Ripon, have been supported by hundreds of generous donations, fundraisers by local businesses, and anonymous cheques for thousands of pounds.

Macey was born with cerebral palsy, causing restriction of movement to her lower limbs, but as a result of the campaign's success so far, she has been able to undergo the operation at Leeds General Infirmary earlier this month.

Robyn Clarke, Macey's mum said: "It all went really well, the surgeons said they were really pleased. She was in hospital for five days and we have been going back every day for physio.

"I was so scared but she did really well, she's such a little trooper, she didn't cry or moan at all. It's going to be a completely different life. We can see a difference already, she's got freedom of movement in her legs."

Little Macey looks healthy and cheery on her final day as she gets ready to be discharged and come home. Picture: Robyn Clarke

Little Macey looks healthy and cheery on her final day as she gets ready to be discharged and come home. Picture: Robyn Clarke

The surgery which is not funded on the NHS, costs £15,000, and was funded by an anonymous cheque made to the campaign earlier this year.

The campaign has recently received another anonymous cheque for £5,000 made out to the Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust, which will help to fund the vital physiotherapy Macey needs to get her up and walking after the surgery.

It has also attracted the support of The Darren Wright Foundation, a fundraising charity which supports different causes across the UK and advised Macey's family to increase their final target to £45,000.

The charity said the increased target would cover the costs of equipment and rehabilitative activities Macey will need following her surgery.

As a result, while the operation might be done, the fundraising efforts are far from over, as Robyn explains it could be two years before Macey stops needing the costly physio.

She said: "It's an ongoing thing because she's probably going to need this physio for the next two years."

In a months time the fundraising efforts will roll on as one of Macey's school teachers looks ahead to completing the London Marathon on April 23 while her dad, James Clarke and family friend Emma Field will take on the Yorkshire Warrior on April 30.

A night of charitable fun is also planned for April 14 at Ripon Bowling Club and any sponsorship donations should be made on the Mission for Macey Just Giving Page.

Mr Clarke said: "Words don't describe really what it would mean to see her walking."