Hartlepool schoolboy Alfie Smith struggling to cope with post-operation pain

The recovery of schoolboy Alfie Smith has taken a turn for the worse as the youngster continues to battle his way back to health.

Alfie Smith in happier timesn following his operation
Alfie Smith in happier timesn following his operation

The nine-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, underwent Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, at Leeds General Hospital, last week.

But while he had been on the mend, with talks to release him from hospital, his family suffered heartache when his health took a turn for the worse.

Alfie and his mam Annie Stalley

At the weekend, the pain suffered by the youngster was so severe medics were forced to sedate him.

Now everything has been put on hold while doctors try and determine what is causing the pain.

His mum Annie Stalley, who has been at his bedside since he was admitted to the hospital last Thursday, said: “It’s really hard. He is up and down and in extreme pain at times.

“I knew it was going to be hard, but I never expected it to be this hard.

Alfie and his mam Annie Stalley

“He was great the other day and then everything went downhill. We had been due to be released from hospital but everything has been put back.

“We are having to play everything day by day now.

“They are trying to monitor and control his pain but nothing really seems to be working.

“Of all the operations that have been carried out, they haven’t come across anything like this before.”

His mum added: “I’m trying to stay as positive as I can but sometimes it’s really hard when he is in so much pain – it’s heartbreaking. It really is just a waiting game now to see what happens.”

Once Alfie is able to, he will then embark on years of physiotherapy to help rebuild his muscle strength and retrain his body, with the hope he will one day be able to walk unaided and painfree.

His mum added: “Since the operation there has been a vast improvement in his legs, but until he starts his physio we won’t know the impact of the operation.”

Once released from hospital, Alfie and his mum will need to remain in Leeds for at least a month while he undergoes various physiotherapy sessions and assessments.

The operation and aftercare has been made possible after people from across the North East helped to fundraise to cover the cost of the surgery and subsequent aftercare.

A number of fundraising events are still to take place to ensure enough money is available as starts his long road to recovery.