Jude's SDR surgery

Eight-year-old football fan Jude Liversage isn't letting cerebral palsy slow him down, thanks to a specialised procedure at The Portland Hospital.

Jude patient story

Judes SDR surgery

We just feel so cared for and Jude’s felt so loved by being here. To come to The Portland is an absolutely amazing experience.

Jude's father

Like lots of eight-year-olds, Jude is football crazy. He’s always dreamed of one day joining a team and scoring a winning goal. But he was born with cerebral palsy, a condition that stiffens his muscles and limits his movement. His parents, Tony and Kelly, heard about a procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR). It’s an operation on the spinal cord that can ease muscle stiffness and make it easier to walk. The family waited and waited for a referral for this treatment. But the longer they waited, the less likely it was that the operation would be a success. Tony and Kelly came to The Portland Hospital to speed things up. They started to fundraise to get the money they needed for the operation, but once they raised half, we waived the rest of the fee. Consultant Paediatric Neurosurgeon Mr Kristian Aquilina performed Jude’s surgery, and the specialist paediatric physiotherapy team at The Portland Hospital treated him with intensive physio afterwards. Today, Jude has better balance, his stamina has improved and he’s walking well. He still has physio every day, but he swims, boxes and does circuits, too. Hospital Chief Executive, Janene Madden said The Portland Hospital was thrilled to be able to help Jude. ‘We heard the extraordinary story of this football loving boy and it touched everyone’s hearts. Jude has been a real star and we are all delighted he is making such good progress.’ Of course, Jude still has time for a game of football. Every week, he plays with his new team – a team just for children with cerebral palsy. We’re proud to say they play with ‘The Portland Hospital’ on their shirts.
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.

Jude's support team

More information


Selective dorsal rhizotomy SDR

SDR is a revolutionary surgery to help children with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy to walk more easily



Our pioneering neurosurgical departments provide a complete range of surgical services for the diagnosis, surgical treatment and rehabilitation of all neurological disorders of the brain and spine



We offer general paediatrics and routine procedures right through to complex cardiac and neurological treatment

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