Fun-loving Jade Beattie was in seventh heaven as she celebrated her seventh birthday at Rainbow's End theme park in Manukau, Auckland – thanks to a treat from Satan's Little Helper.
Jade's mum Megan says “it was awesome to see the huge smile on her face” when she sprang the birthday surprise on her unsuspecting daughter, who suffers from a form of Cerebral Palsy called Spastic Dipelgia. “She was so excited to be able to go on all of the rides with her friends, and it was great to see her be included in everything and not missing out because of her physical limitations,” says Megan. “She described it as 'the best day ever!'” Spastic Dipelgia causes muscle tension and spasms, particularly in the legs. It means Jade needs the assistance of a walking frame and wheelchair to get around. The conditioning is worsening as Jade continues to grow. Without surgery, she could eventually be confined to a wheelchair for life. A procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery would allow Jade’s legs to develop normally. The catch is that it requires Jade to visit St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri (USA) at a cost of $125,000. Megan says Jade has been placed on a waiting list for March 2017. “The surgery will enable her to walk pain free, dance, ride a bike and stop any further deformities. It’s also the best opportunity Jade has to live an independent life,” says Megan. Putting aside all their spare money to save for the trip meant the family was unable to throw Jade a birthday this year, which is where Satan’s Little Helper stepped in. If you’d like to make a contribution towards helping Jade get to Missouri for her life-changing surgery, you can do so via her givealittle page.