Stem cells from his brother’s spine could be used to rewire a five-year-old’s brain and overcome a debilitating condition that prevents him walking or talking.

Jay Shetty may soon be able to hug his parents and play with his brother, movements currently restricted by his spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy. The youngster, of Holly Tree Close, Wimbledon, has been enrolled in a unique study at Duke University in the United States that hopes to help rewire his brain and repair damaged cells which will allow him new muscular movements, including walking and talking.

The study uses a cord blood stem cell transplant from stem cells of his one-year-old brother, Kairav Shetty and is the only such study in the world.

Mother Shilpa Shetty, 39, said: “We’re delighted that Jay has been accepted for this study.

“It could lessen his symptoms of cerebral palsy to the extent that he may even be able to walk and talk and which would just be wonderful.”

Kairav’s stem cells will be tested to see if his are a match for Jay. Mrs Shetty, who cares for the two full-time, said she and her husband, Raj Shetty, were told there is a 25 per cent chance that the match will be 100 percent, but that even a 30 percent match would meet the criteria for the study.

Jay has spasticity in his arms and legs that came as a result of a brain injury shortly after birth and receives constant muscular stimulation and massage, aimed at preventing more severe spasticity or muscular tightening.

He receives 40 weeks of physical therapy treatment in London and several times a year undergoes two-week bouts of more intensive physiotherapy at a medical rehabilitation centre in Poland.

In addition, he has been blind for the past three years, due to poor blood flow between his optic nerve and brain. Even during good levels of blood flow, however, he can make out only shapes.

In order to benefit from the US therapy, Mr and Mrs Shetty have to fund continuous treatment and rehabilitation, and have already set up Just Giving pages.

Family, friends and colleagues are also helping.

Mrs Shetty said: “Like any mother, I will do everything possible to make life better for my son. I am determined to find the money to pay for the cost of these therapies.

“How can I not when it potentially means a better life for him?”

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