A LITTLE girl has had a life-changing operation after the community of Basingstoke and Deane rallied to help raise £100,000 in just seven months to pay for the procedure.

As previously reported in The Gazette, Emmy King’s family, from Lychpit, launched Ready Emmy Walk with the hope of raising the funds to pay for the operation in America to help her walk.

The two-year-old touched the hearts of thousands of people, who responded by donating to the cause and raising the incredible sum of money in such a short space of time.

Emmy has now had the surgery in the USA and is on the road to recovery.

She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy spastic diplegia last July, but an operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) to help sufferers walk is not available on the NHS in the UK.

The toddler had the procedure on September 27, and was allowed out of hospital on Sunday.

Her mum, Carly King, called her “a brave little warrior” after watching her daughter struggle following the operation.

Posting three days after the surgery on a Facebook page for followers of Emmy’s journey, she said: “Emmy was in so much pain this morning and became hysterical. It was really difficult to see our little girl so scared and panicked. But we managed to transfer her from her bed to her buggy twice, despite the tears.

“Then this evening she has really perked up, talked lots and even smiled.”

Emmy has been having daily physiotherapy and was cheered up by a visit from her older sister Isla before going back to the family’s apartment in America where she was given a ‘welcome home’ party.

Carly, 31, said: “They are very impressed with how much she is moving about already. Sitting, crawling, even trying to pull herself to stand.

“She’s very wobbly and we can see how building up her strength is our main task in the coming weeks.

“But we are so excited that she is trying to do all these things.”

The King family will spend a month in the USA before returning home on October 22, when Emmy will continue daily physiotherapy.

Carly previously thanked the community for their support, and said: “The town has really got behind us.”

She added: “People say community spirit is dead but when something like this happens it proves that wrong because people have rallied around us. They saw we needed help and it’s been incredible.”

Emmy was born eight weeks prematurely after her identical twin sister, Ava, died in the womb of Twin-toTwin Transfusion Syndrome.

The cerebral palsy causes her muscle tone to increase in her legs and feet, making them constantly stiff which affects her balance and co-ordination, resulting in simple things such as crawling or even sitting up difficult.

To donate visit justgiving.com/readyemmywalk.