Community rallies round Ballycarry girl Sophie

Woodburn Ebenezer LOL No 787 Worshipful Master, Aaron Peoples and Worshipful Deputy Master, Darren McAllister present little Sophie Mathers with a �3,700 cheque raised by the lodge.  Also pictured are Sophie's mum and dad, John and Jane. INCT 02-213-AM
Woodburn Ebenezer LOL No 787 Worshipful Master, Aaron Peoples and Worshipful Deputy Master, Darren McAllister present little Sophie Mathers with a �3,700 cheque raised by the lodge. Also pictured are Sophie's mum and dad, John and Jane. INCT 02-213-AM

Thousands of pounds have been raised towards crucial treatment for a young Ballycarry girl thanks to a local Orange lodge.

Sophie Mathers was born eight weeks prematurely with cerebral palsy, a neurological condition which commonly affects movement and co-ordination.

In seven-year-old Sophie’s case, it causes her legs to stiffen, making walking and sleeping difficult.

Sophie recently underwent an operation to ease her symptoms.

Known as Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, the procedure involved cutting nerve roots in Sophie’s spine to relieve the stiffness in her muscles.

The treatment was carried out in Liverpool, where Sophie and her mother stayed for three weeks.

“Currently Sophie is home and doctors and consultants are pleased with her progress,” said Carrick councillor, Cheryl Johnston.

“There has been an improvement in mobility and strength.”

Meanwhile, the local youngster’s recovery has been aided by hydrotherapy and intensive physiotherapy.

And Sophie is due to benefit from ongoing treatment after a fundraising night raised thousands towards her physiotherapy.

The event, which took place last Friday night, was organised though Woodburn Ebenezer LOL No 787, of which Sophie’s father John is a member.

Working with Barn United Football Club, the evening saw great support from the local community.

A total of £3700 was raised towards the cost of Sophie’s treatment.