A MUM is trying to raise £75,000 to send her youngest daughter to the USA for a lifechanging operation.

Kayleigh Kilbane, 22, is desperate for her two-year-old daughter Sophia, who has cerebral palsy, to have the surgery, which will allow her to walk without pain.

The selective dorsal rhizotomy operation has not been widely available in the UK, as health bosses have to first agree to meet the £24,000 cost.

But last week the NHS, which had stopped the operations, announced it would fund 120, to judge how effective they are before continuing with them.

Miss Kilbane wants Sophia to have the op at St Louis children’s hospital, in Missouri, which has been doing them for 25 years.

She said: “I have spoken to a couple of people whose children had operations there and they have done over 2,700 operations and only three had trouble.

“They have not long been doing it in the UK.”

She wants Sophia to be able to playwith brother Aiden, five, and Louie, two, without having to be in a standing or sitting frame.

The £75,000 target will cover the cost of the treatment, accommodation and travel, and intensive follow-up physiotherapy.

Last month, the Echo told the story of Lacey-May Cooper who was facing life in a wheelchair, before family and friends raised enough money for her to have the treatment.

After flying out to America to undergo a gruelling procedure and months of physiotherapy, Lacey-May, from Laindon, is now walking.

Miss Kilbane, of Lincoln Road, Basildon, said: “As it stands she won’t be able to lead a fully independent life – I want her to be as independent as she can.

“It is quite upsetting even just seeing her with her brothers.

“They can stand and walk and play without being confined to some sort of seat.

“She can’t, and seeing her get upset makes me feel even worse.”

Friends and family are rallying round to help raise funds for the operation. To donate, visit just giving.com/Sophiaswishtowalk tall