Dundalk FC captain Pat Hoban with Zoe Murphy who led out the Dundalk team before the UCD game at Oriel Park in April,
Parents of Dundalk girl Zoe Murphy are appealing for the public's help to fundraise €35,000 for specialised surgery in America.
Zoe was born with spastic diplegic Cerebral Palsy caused by moderate to severe PVL brain injury.
Zoe's family were told she would never walk, talk or sit unaided. They were told to manage their expectations with Zoes limited abilities
Fast forward 6 years, Zoe had a very successful SDR surgery in St. Louis children's hospital in Missouri.
Zoes body has been released of most of the spasticity that was restricting her life.
Since this surgery Zoe has gone from strength to strength defying all the odds set against her and attending main stream school, and is determined to live an independent life
Unfortunately Zoes journey doesn't end there, as she had hip dysplasia as a baby.
As she has grown over the years, her cerebral palsy has caused bone deformities to her hips, knees and feet.
Writing on Zoe's GoFundMe page, her mother Lynda explained:
"Zoe was comfortably walking in her Kaye walker after SDR surgery but unfortunately her muscles continued to tightening while her bones continued to grow.
"Over the space of a year we have seen her walking pattern deteriorate, and upon consulting with her neurosurgeon and Orthopaedic surgery in St.Louis our fears were confirmed.
"Zoe has what is severe antiversion femoral and needs surgery to correct this, she also needs a surgery called bilateral gastrocnemius recessions.
"This will lengthen her tendons and muscles in her calf area, her team in America have agreed to do both these surgeries together, which means just one anesthetic and one recovery, making things a little easier on Zoe.
"Without these surgeries all of Zoes progress that she has worked so hard to make over the last 3 years will be lost and she will be refined to her wheelchair.
"Her team are eager to get these surgeries done to prevent any further regression, they have even given us a date for Oct 24th. Of course we do not believe this will be possible to achieve in such a short time frame.
"We have spoke with her team here in Ireland, they agree she needs this surgery but they want to wait until her teenage years because in their eyes "Zoe is not a walker" therefore the deterioration will not affect her as much as someone who walks independently.
"Us as her family disagree completely, they also are not willing to do both surgeries together and only offering for us to put Zoe back into a spica body cast. Zoe has walked unaided in water for the first and continues to improve on this, from there we believe she can do it on land with just more confidence needed, we are not giving up on our wee warrior.
"We have never looked back from having SDR it completely changed everything for Zoe, these now necessary surgeries are not a reflection on SDR it's just an unfortunate development of life with Cerebral Palsy."
Donations for the surgery can be made here.
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