An Aberdeen mum has admitted having “real doubts” after her daughter received an experimental operation – but says she would not change her decision.
Senga Brands, 40, of Kincorth, raised more than £20,000 for her nine-year-old daughter Olivia, who was born with cerebral palsy.
Senga and husband Stephen, 36, were keen for Olivia to undergo the selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) procedure, which cost them £19,000 at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children.
The pair embarked on an ambitious fundraising campaign to cover the procedure, as well as the costs incurred by the trip to Bristol.
However, six months after the July procedure, Senga admitted having second thoughts immediately after the surgery.
By the nature of the operation, Olivia’s movement was restricted initially to allow for better mobility in the future.
Senga said she did have worries after seeing the initial effects on Olivia straight after surgery.
She said: “I did afterwards, when we were in hospital. I did think ‘what have I done?’
“We had taken everything away from her. She was able to stand and to pull herself up.
“She was very self-sufficient to a degree.
“She couldn’t do a lot of things, but she could do things her own way and we took all that away from her.
“I panicked and some of the other mums who have been through the same thing said I would.”
However, it did not take long for Senga to realise she had done the right thing by Olivia.
She said: “Within a few weeks of having the physio and when you start to see that, you realise you’ve done the right thing.
“I knew it was the right thing to do, but there was just this feeling in the back of my head.”
Senga said Olivia has been doing well since the July procedure and she has felt much better ever since.
She said: “She feels a lot more independent and she knows exactly what she’s got ahead of her.
“It’s going to be a better future for her. She’s not on any medication any more.”
Over the past six months, Olivia has been through a rigorous regime of stretching, physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to improve her range of motion.
It is hoped the regime will pay dividends at her first check-up early next month in Bristol.
Despite the sizeable amount of cash raised through crowdfunding, Senga said the family will not be raising any more in the near future and hopes their decision opens the way for other people .
She said: “We hope that if we step away from it then other people will be able to raise money.”