Family split for year to help Rhylee walk

A FAMILY from Upton are to be separated for a year as they seek medical treatment that could help a three-year-old girl walk unaided for the very first time. Rhylee Brown was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one, and needs regular physiotherapy

A FAMILY from Upton are to be separated for a year as they seek medical treatment that could help a three-year-old girl walk unaided for the very first time.

Rhylee Brown was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one, and needs regular physiotherapy to stimulate her muscles.

But her mum, Dawn, claims the NHS is short of the necessary staff and unable to provide her daughter with the physiotherapy she requires.

Without the necessary treatment, Rhylee, who cannot stand or walk unaided, her parents said she would have to use a wheelchair.


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Dawn said Rhylee has been undergoing just one 45-minute physiotherapy session every six to eight weeks, organised by the Oak Tree

Centre in Huntingdon.

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However, the sessions have stopped since two of the service's physiotherapists retired. Last year, she did not see a physiotherapist for four months, Dawn said.

The 31-year-old, of Green Lane, Upton, is now planning to raise £5,000 to fly Rhylee to Tampa, Florida, in September for intensive physiotherapy sessions at a specialist centre.

"I have to take a chance and try anything I can to help Rhylee and give her the best chance in life. I went to America for my sister's graduation and was impressed with what they could offer Rhylee compared to what is on offer in this country."

Once the money is raised, Rhylee will attend Tampa Shriners Children's Hospital where staff will help strengthen and stretch her muscles. Older brother, Tristen, four, will join his mother and sister while father, Iain, who is a thatcher, will stay in the UK.

"It is awful that we have to travel to America to get the treatment Rhylee needs. I am furious this trip will separate our family for a year but it is something we have to do."

The family is being supported by the Crossways Christian Centre in St Ives which has organised a charity summer fete with an auction on July 21. It will take place at the centre from 10am to 3pm.

Cambridgeshire Primary Care Trust, which is responsible for providing physiotherapists at the Oak Tree Centre, said there had been staff shortages but these were on the way to being resolved. It added that the team had worked tirelessly to provide the appropriate service.

INFORMATION: To donate money to help Rhylee phone Jennie Jarvis on 07734 852385.

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