A SCOTS toddler has flown nearly 4,000 miles to undergo an operation that could see him walk for the very first time.
Kayden Gordon, from Thurso, Caithness, was diagnosed with muscle tightening condition, Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy, when he was only 15-months-old.
The three-year-old, who currently uses a walking frame, is unable to straighten his legs making it difficult for him to sit on the floor with his legs outstretched, stand and walk unaided.
But on Thursday, Kayden and his family jetted off to St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri in preparation for his life changing treatment next week.
Supporters of the family raised a staggering £80,000 in their Wish 2 Walk appeal.
On the family’s Wish 2 Walk Facebook page, his mum, Sarah Gordon posted an image yesterday which read: “And so the adventure begins”.
She added: “That’s us in Edinburgh after the first leg of the journey.
“Just wanted to give a quick update. Kayden is scheduled to have his operation is St Louis Children’s Hospital Missouri on the 28th of January.”
Dozens of well wishers commented on the post. Karen Kc wrote: “Best Wishes to Kayden and yourselves. New Year New Chapter.”
And Jakki Mackenzie said: “All the best to Kayden, such a journey ahead of the wee man.”
On his JustGiving fundraising page, his family wrote that it would be Kayden’s “dream” to be able to walk.
The operation, called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), will involve removing vertebrae from Kayden’s lower back to access his nerve roots.
The surgeon will then send electrical pulses through the nerves to locate and remove which ones are abnormal and causing spasticity.
A second op will then be done to lengthen Kayden’s hamstrings and calf tendons so he is able to stand before he begins a two year process of intense physiotherapy.
After hitting their £80,000 target in November, Sarah wrote: “We would like everyone to know that once Kayden has had his procedure and the costs for physiotherapy and equipment set aside, that all remaining funds will be re-donated to a cause or community project within Caithness and this will be announced at his home coming party at the Weigh Inn hotel on 12th March 2016.
“Please all join the family then, to welcome Kayden home for the start of his new and prosperous future thanks to all of you.”
“We know we will now exceed our target, which is great news as we were informed recently that some of the costs for his procedure would increase for 2016.”
In 2013 five-year-old Jessica Penny, from Rutherglen near Glasgow, flew out to St Louis to undergo the same treatment as Kayden to relieve the effects of cerebral palsy.
The tot had been starved of oxygen during birth after midwives failed to notice her heart rate had dropped.
Her parents, Lynn and Colin Penny, also raised the £85,000 for hospital fees through fundraising.
The operation is not available on the NHS.