A Cheshire schoolgirl has received the world’s first ever deep brain surgery on a child to ease her dystonic cerebral palsy, it was revealed today.

Surgeons at Liverpool’s Alder Hey hospital performed a new form of advanced deep brain stimulation (DBS) on 8-year-old Hayley on 16th January.

Dystonia is a lifelong condition which causes uncontrolled and sometimes painful muscle spasms. The pioneering new technology used during the surgery, which includes tiny electrodes that were inserted into Hayley’s brain, will help control her movements better.

Girl 8 cerebral Palsy - Brain surgery
Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Liverpool

The procedure took eight hours and was led by Alder Hey’s neurosurgeon Mr Jonathan Ellenbogen and his team. This is the first time in the world this new technology has been used on a child.

Gareth, Hayley’s dad, spoke about the frustration before January’s operation of not knowing what she needed or when she was in pain.

He told BBC Radio Merseyside: “Its a big life change, she can tell us when she’s in pain, I just can’t wait to see what it’ll do.”

Girl 8 cerebral Palsy - Brain surgery
Hayley with her parents, neurosurgeon Mr Ellenbogen and his team.

Consultant Neurosurgeon Jonathan Ellenbogen said: “DBS isn’t suitable for all patients with dystonia, but for some children and young people it can be life-changing.”

Hayley and her family spent a few days in Alder Hey recovering from the procedure before going back home to Nantwich.



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