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New wheelchair boost for little Harper

PUBLISHED: 14:21 28 November 2019 | UPDATED: 14:22 28 November 2019

Harper Sharrocks, three, with her parenrs Natasha and Steve Sharrocks. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

Harper Sharrocks, three, with her parenrs Natasha and Steve Sharrocks. Picture: SOPHIE WYLLIE

SOPHIE WYLLIE

A toddler who needs a life-changing operation to help her walk has been given some independence thanks to a new wheelchair.

Harper Sharrocks, three, from Sprowston, who has cerebral palsy, with her hero Zak Zodiac at a Barnham Broom charity ball. The ball was in aid of a fundraiser for an operation to help her walk. Picture: Steve SharrocksHarper Sharrocks, three, from Sprowston, who has cerebral palsy, with her hero Zak Zodiac at a Barnham Broom charity ball. The ball was in aid of a fundraiser for an operation to help her walk. Picture: Steve Sharrocks

Harper Sharrocks, three, from Lone Barn Road in Sprowston, Norwich, was born weighing 4lb 4oz at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) following an emergency caesarean section.

Harper Sharrocks, three, who has cerebral palsy. Picture: SUBMITED BY THE SHARROCKS FAMILYHarper Sharrocks, three, who has cerebral palsy. Picture: SUBMITED BY THE SHARROCKS FAMILY

And at eight months old she was diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy.

Her condition causes stiffness in her legs and has prevented her from walking, slowed down her speech development and limited her ability to do activities that require precision.

Harper's parents, Steve and Natasha Sharrocks, embarked on an £80,000 fundraising campaign to pay for a spinal operation in America, known as selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) as well as a year of physiotherapy to give her the best chance of walking unaided.

But to give her more freedom when she is out of the house in the meantime, the family has received a wheelchair from the NHS after she outgrew her toddler pushchair.

Mr Sharrocks, 33, who is a manager of a battery company, said: "Harper loves the wheelchair and going out in it. It means she is can get around more and not reliant on us. If we are out it gives her a bit more independence.

"It is also a form of physiotherapy for her because it allows her to work her muscles and motor functions. She can now get to places where she couldn't reach before.

"The wheelchair is more comfortable than her pushchair.

"Hopefully it is the only one she will need. We hope to have the operation done next year."

He added that his daughter enjoyed showing off her new wheelchair at a fundraising ball at Barnham Broom, which raised over £4,000 for the family's fundraiser.

So far just over £48,000 has been raised.

The ball was hosted by Norwich wrestler Zak Knight known as Zak Zodiac.

Mr Sharrocks, who plans to wrestle Zak in March to raise money for the online appeal, added: "It means everything to us to have support for the fundraiser. We cannot do it alone. It is a long slog. When people meet Harper they fall in love with her."

To donate search Harper's Little Helpers via www.justgiving.com

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