Mum’s relief after Hitchin boy, 9, undergoes successful operation to help him walk independently

Jack Gower's operation has proved a success.

Jack Gower's operation has proved a success. - Credit: Archant

Major surgery to help a nine-year-old boy walk independently has gone “extremely well”, his mother has told the Comet.

Jack Gower, of Stotfold Road in Hitchin, went under the knife at London’s Great Ormond Street Hospital on Friday.

He has spastic paraplegic cerebral palsy – a condition which makes limbs extremely stiff – and was dependent on drugs to give him some mobility.

Surgeons have now performed a procedure which involved severing the nerves carrying signals to the brain which cause the muscles to tighten.

Jack’s mum, Ella, said: “Jack’s operation went extremely well and, although he’s in some pain and having a difficult time with extra sensitive feet – a side effect of the operation, which will settle in time – he is doing amazingly. His legs are so much straighter and more relaxed.”

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Jack had his first physiotherapy session on Monday and was able to sit independently on the side of his hospital bed. He is expected to be in hospital for three weeks and must have physiotherapy twice a day.

Doctors think Jack will be walking with sticks by the time he goes back to school in September.

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Intensive physiotherapy for two years will give Jack the best chance of walking independently, and the Gower family have so far raised £14,000 to pay for it.

The Comet reported last week how Jack’s friend, seven-year-old Jen Clare, who had the same operation three years ago, walked 400 metres unaided and raised £665 towards his treatment.

Money raised also includes a single donation of £2,500 following an appeal in the Comet, and about £4,500 from a sponsored bounce at Jack’s school – Highover JMI in Hitchin.

To help support Jack, visit

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