Hope for Asher after operation in America


A four-year-old boy is recovering well after a life-changing surgery paid for by the Jewish community.

Asher Carroll, who suffers from cerebral palsy, was operated on at an American hospital following an appeal in the JC that resulted in £70,000 being donated by the paper's readers.

Doctors hope that the procedure, which took place last month, will allow Asher to walk unaided within a year.

Asher's mother, Kate Blok, said this week that her son was still "weak and tired" after the operation but making a good recovery.

Speaking from the St Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri, she said: "His surgeon, Dr Park, has told us that he believes Asher will be walking independently within a year.

"This astonishing prediction massively exceeds the expectations of any other doctors we've met."

The family, from Brighton, had been advised by specialists in the UK that Asher, who suffered a pre-natal stroke leaving him incapable of independent movement, would have had to wait 18 months for the selective dorsal rhizotomy operation in Britain.

Thanks to the appeal launched in January, Asher was able to travel to America accompanied by Ms Blok and father Andrew Carroll, to undergo the surgery.

The family have also been helped by the Jewish charity, Camp Simchah.

Ms Blok said: "The degree of kindness was flabbergasting. The appeal in the JC resulted in a phenomenal outpouring of generosity for which we are deeply grateful."

She added: "Until we started fundraising, Andrew and I were isolated in our grief. An overwhelmingly positive outcome of fundraising for Asher's surgery was discovering the incredible support and generosity of our community."

Asher is now attending daily physio- therapy sessions with the aim of rebuilding and extending his strength.

Ms Blok said: "He has been through a great deal with two significant surgeries in a very short space of time. He looks good to us but the progress will be slow and steady."

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