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Evan Hansen

December 27, 2010

A three-year-old boy from Cardiff has undergone a five-hour operation in the United States which his family hope will help him walk unaided.

Evan Hansen, who has cerebral palsy, had the operation at a hospital in St Louis, Missouri.

Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy involves cutting the nerves in the spinal cord which causes spasticity in the muscles.

His parents Paula and Steve raised more than £40,000 to pay for the treatment because it is not available in the UK.

They are one of several families who have travelled to America for the procedure and are campaigning for it to be made available in the UK.

Evan and his parents braved the snow and flew from London’s Heathrow airport to Atlanta last week with only an hour’s delay.

His mother said they had to be up early for the operation at St Louis Children’s Hospital on Wednesday but everything went smoothly.

“Evan had to change into a little fish gown and got to watch Disney while he waited.

“We explained as best we could that he would need to sleep for Dr Park to give him his new legs and when the medicine came he took it without question – he even said it tasted nice!

“By the time he went into the operating room he was very relaxed and didn’t cry at all – he is a very brave boy.

“We received regular update calls in our private room to let us know everything was going well and finally Dr Park arrived to tell us it was all over and he was happy with the surgery.

“We were taken to recovery to see Evan and, although he cried a bit, he has been mostly asleep since.”

“The staff have been fantastic, calming Evan and informing us at every step.

“They have really put us at ease and made the whole experience so much less traumatic than it could have been.”

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