Cerebral palsy boy never gives up

DANIEL Fairclowgh has never let cerebral palsy stop him doing what he loves and is encouraging those with the condition to do the same and never give up.

National Cerebral Palsy Awareness Week, from July 30 to August 5, is an opportunity for the strength and needs of people like Daniel to be put in the spotlight.

Daniel was born with the physical condition which affects the movement on the left-hand side of his body.

Having the condition causes the Falcon Primary School student to experience weakness, stiffness and sometimes involuntary movements which can often cause tightness and pain in his left arm.

Daniel’s mum Sandra Lavender said she first noticed something was wrong when he was four months old and his left hand seemed to be clenched.

At six months Daniel was diagnosed with dystonic hemiplegia which is the most common form of cerebral palsy affecting more than one million children under 21 worldwide.

For most people with cerebral palsy the cause is unknown but Ms Lavender said it can be caused by lack of oxygen to the baby's brain before or during pregnancy.

According to the Cerebral Palsy Alliance the most common cause in babies who acquire the condition after one-month-old is a stroke, which is what Daniel experienced.

There is no known cure for the condition but it can be treated and managed.

Daniel is one of the luckier ones and his condition is quite mild with treatment including physiotherapy and Botox injections to relax and loosen the muscle.

The keen quad bike rider said when his arm clenches up and becomes stiff the pain is “intense”.

“I have to grab it with my other hand and stretch it different ways to get it moving,” he said.

“I can't normally straighten my fingers but the injections help.”

Daniel said getting the injections are “scary” but don't hurt because he's put to sleep for them.

Before moving from Townsville to Mandurah 18 months ago Daniel was getting the injections more regularly but will now have them twice a year as well as physiotherapy once a week.

Ms Lavender said moving made it hard to get support Daniel needed.

“I can't thank the staff at Falcon Primary School enough and Rocky Bay but there is a desperate need for more help in the Mandurah area,” she said.

The story Cerebral palsy boy never gives up first appeared on Mandurah Mail.

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