Restaurant chain vows to help little girl walk

Susanna Petersburska

Susanna Petersburska

First published in News Runcorn and Widnes World: Photograph of the Author by , Chief Reporter

A DREAM could soon come true for a five-year-old Polish girl who needs life changing surgery to walk.

Susanna Petersburska has cerebral palsy and often wakes in the night due to pain in her legs.

Staff at Frankie & Benny’s have pledged to raise £60,000 throughout July for pioneering treatment in America.

Her dad, Andy, aged 36, a waiter at the Widnes branch, has worked for the restaurant chain for seven years.

He said: “It would be a dream come true. We have another daughter, Maja, who is seven.

“It would be wonderful to see them walking together.”

The restaurant chain has launched a nationwide fundraising campaign. Sales from every child’s meal purchased at the weekend were donated to the Help Susanna Walk Appeal.

Raffles, lucky dips and colouring competitions are also being held.

Danny Breithaupt, managing director of Frankie & Benny’s, said: “Susanna is a very special little girl and we wanted to help make her dreams become a reality.”

Susanna’s mum, Monika, aged 34, from Eccleston, St Helens, said: “We are totally amazed at how generous people have been.

“We feel really close to giving Susanna her dream but we know there is still a long way to go until the operation is guaranteed.

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“If she has the operation, she has a great chance to walk independently. Without it, she is going to end up being in a full time wheelchair user.”

Susanna has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, which means the muscles in her legs are painfully tight and prevent her from walking or running.

An operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy has a 100 per cent success rate at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, where it has been carried out for 25 years.

The national charity, Caudwell Children, is helping Susanna’s family raise funds.

Donations can be made at Susanna’s Justgiving page www.justgiving.com/helpsusannatowalk

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