THE FAMILY of Crosskeys youngster Maisie Cooper are celebrating after receiving the date for the life changing operation to help her walk.

Born 11 weeks early, two year old Maisie Cooper, has faced many challenges learning to live with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy.

Maisie who weighed just 2lbs 14oz at birth, was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, a condition which means that her muscles tense up too much and she struggles with simple tasks such as sitting up and standing up.

Over the past ten months Maisie’s parents Gareth and Hayley Cooper have been fundraising for the life changing operation which would decrease the tightness in her muscles and could mean that with the help of intense physiotherapy, she will be able to walk unaided.

Following various fundraising efforts, Maisie’s parents have managed to raise the £60,000 needed for Maisie to undergo pioneering surgery in the United States to help her walk.

Now the family have announced that they have received the date for the surgery as early February 2014.

Maisie who will have just turned three by the time the operation comes round, has been accepted in to St. Louis Children’s Hospital in St. Louis, America.

Mr Cooper said: “We have just been accepted by St. Louis Hospital for an operation in early February, so it’s all systems go once the doctors confirm the exact date at the beginning of December.

“Doctors are confident that Maisie will be able to walk unaided for short periods of time.

“The operation will eliminate the spasticity permanently; her posture will be greatly improved and her transitions from sitting it standing will be a lot more stable.

“These are things that other parents take for granted.”

Maisie’s operation will last around four hours but the family plan to spend a minimum of four weeks in America accompanied by Maisie’s grandparents, god parents and their children.

While she is in America, Maisie will have time to recover from jet lag before having a brief meeting with a consultant prior to the operation.

She will then remain in the country to undergo three weeks of physiotherapy.

“It is a dream come true for us,” Mr Cooper continued.

“The past ten months have been an overwhelming experience since making the decision for Maisie to have the operation.”

Maisie plans to go to St David’s playgroup in Risca in the coming year and her parent have applied for her to attend state school.

“The operation will make a huge difference to Maisie’s life,” Mr Cooper added.

“She is asking questions and understands that she is different from the other children but we have gained great confidence in the support from the community.”