Budding cricketer thanks Evelina London for life-changing treatment

Posted on Monday 14th May 2018
Two photographs of young cricketer Elliot Brown waving his bat on the cricket pitch and wearing his navy blue England Lion's tracksuit

Elliot Brown on the cricket pitch and wearing his England Lion's jumper

A teenager who was never expected to walk or talk is now in a national cricket team thanks to treatment he received at Evelina London Children’s Hospital.

Elliot Brown, 17, from Steyning in Sussex, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy after he was born prematurely at 27 weeks. Cerebral palsy affects movement and coordination and is caused by a problem with the brain that occurs before, during or soon after birth. His parents, Miranda and Mike Brown, were told that he would never be able to walk, talk or attend mainstream education.

Elliot, who is currently preparing for his A levels and would like to study sports law at university, said:  “I don’t let my disability get in the way of pursuing my dreams and living my life to the full. I get asked quite often if I had the choice would I lose my disability, and my response is always the same. NO. It has shaped who I am to my very core and pretty much everything I have done in life has been affected positively or negatively through my disability. I wouldn’t want to change that, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Evelina London is an amazing place and I feel very grateful for the care I’ve received.”

“Being able to play for my country has been an amazing experience and a real honour. My dream is to make the England Lion’s squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup, which will be extra special as it will be held in England and Wales.”

Elliot first came to Evelina London when he was five. As part of his treatment Dr Charlie Fairhurst, head of children's neurosciences, injected Botulinum Toxin A (Botox) into his legs, which greatly helped him to improve his mobility and strength.

Mum Miranda, 50, said: “Despite what doctors at our local hospital previously said, Elliot started talking when he was one and took his first steps at three, but he was still very unsteady on his feet, and had limited movement.

“Once he was at Evelina London, Dr Fairhurst and Dr Anne Wright helped him to gain physical strength and improve his walking.”

While Elliot’s physical strength and mobility continued to improve, he developed severe bladder problems, which is a complication of cerebral palsy.

In 2009 it was decided that he would need surgery to correct the problem. Elliot underwent bladder reconstruction surgery, led by consultant paediatric urologist Dr Kalpana Patil.

This meant that, for the first time in his life, Elliot was able to fully participate in sports. He developed an interest in cricket which led to him joining local teams. In July 2018, Elliot was selected to play for the England PD (physical disability) Lion’s cricket team.

Miranda said: “If it wasn’t for the fantastic care he has received at Evelina he wouldn’t have been able to pursue his interest in cricket. Elliot has gone from strength to strength under the hospital’s care. We are so thankful to everyone at Evelina London who has supported him.

“It’s been amazing watching Elliot playing cricket and representing his country. His progression from playing county cricket to playing for England’s Lions has happened really quickly and is a testament to his immense talents and determination. I’m extremely proud of him.”

 Dr Fairhurst said: “It’s been amazing getting to know Elliot and his family, and witnessing his incredible journey. He has had to deal with many challenges in his life, but he has taken them all in his stride. I’m so pleased to hear that Elliot has been chosen to play for the England Lion’s cricket team and it’s very rewarding to know that the teams at Evelina London have helped him to achieve this. I wish him the best of luck in all of his endeavours.”