Spasticity results from a different type of nerve damage than polio, usually in the spinal cord or the brain itself. The muscles may continue to work, but do not respond smoothly to the brain´s instructions, resulting in jerky movements. In the developed world, the ailment (generally known as Cerebral Palsy) is usually present from birth, or appears soon thereafter. In DR Congo, most spasticity results from bouts of meningitis, or from spinal cord injury due to accidents.

Bracing is helpful to only some sufferers of spasticity. Braces can help keep legs and feet in the correct position for walking, but often they interfere with balance more than they assist. In severe cases of spasticity, arms and the upper torso are also affected, making walking very difficult with or without bracing.

For a child who has not been able to stand or walk for many years and moves around only by crawling on all fours, just £300 will cover the costs of  two full-length leg braces.

Sponsor a child to receive a leg brace or make a donation by clicking on the 'donate button below.

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