Miracle op twins leave hospital

Scottish twins Ayley and Chloe Hirsch will walk again after successful US operation in Missouri

BRAVE Scots twins who are set to walk after a miracle operation in the US have been discharged from hospital.

Twins Ayley and Chloe Hirsch, 3, are starting their long road to recovery after undergoing £80,000 surgery in Independence, Missouri.

The three-year-old twins, who suffer from cerebral palsy, flew out to the US last Friday for the surgery which could free them from their wheelchairs.

The operation, carried out by surgeon T.S. Park, involved cutting damaged nerves from the girls’ spines which helps to increase mobility in their muscles.

The surgery, which has a 100% success rate, went well according to the twins’ mother and they will now undergo intensive post-operative physiotherapy.

They were discharged from St Louis Children’s Hospital at the weekend and will now have four further weeks of treatment before returning to their home in Carnoustie, Angus.


They twins will wear leg braces every night for six weeks to keep their knees and legs straight.

And to ease the road to recovery, the girls have been given novelty Spiderman and Superman splints to wear on their legs.

Posting on the family Facebook page to update friends and family, mum Averil said it had been an “emotional week” in Missouri.

She said: “What an amazing place. Thank you to everyone who has cared for us while the girls have been in.

“We are back at the hotel and relaxing.

“It’s been a long, emotional, amazing first week at hospital.

“The girls are both showered and ready to have a lazy night even though they have leg braces to wear every night for six weeks to keep their knees and legs straight.

“Let’s see how this goes down with the two of them.”

She added: “It means so much that everybody is thinking of us and the girls.”

Parents, Averil and Frazer have been overjoyed by the hard work Ayley and Chloe have been putting in with the physio.

Ayley has been crawling and reduced her mum to tears, shouting, “I wanna walk.” As she tried to stand during Saturday’s session.

Chloe has also been doing brilliantly with her crawling and high knees.


The news that the girls have been discharged has sparked scores of comments.

Mike Poole said: “Really exciting times and I am really happy to see you’re all doing so well.”

Richie Fenwick said: “We’re all thinking about you back in Carnoustie.”

There were also messages of support from Carnoustie mum Laura Ramsay, whose daughter Brooke is at the centre of a fundraising campaign to pay for the same operation.

She said: “Fantastic. So pleased it went so well.”

The procedure involves severing the nerves in the spine that send messages to paralyse the leg muscles.

The twins were able to make the 4000mile long journey toMissouriafter parents Averil and Frazer’s campaign to raise £80,000 to pay for the treatment was embraced by the community.

The campaign also featured on ITV 1’s Daybreak which saw the final sum raise to £175,000.

The Hirsh family jetted out on Friday for the operation and Dr Park is predicting that Ayley could be walking by the time they return home in four weeks time.

Chloe’s progress is also improving according to Dr Park.

In November 2010, Dr Park worked on another Scottish toddler suffering from a similar condition.

Jack McNaughton from Almondbank, near Perth, is also able to walk for the first time after the surgeon eliminated the pain and spasticity in his spine.

Averil was unaware of the surgery until she read of Jack’s progress in the local press and contacted his parents, Stacey and Graham.

The Hirsches were invited to the McNaughton home to see Jack’s remarkable recovery- which convinced the twin’s parents that they must undergo the surgery too.