'She's cheeky, determined' – parents risk it all for daughter's expensive and life-changing operation

A Kiwi couple have risked it all to provide their young daughter with the opportunity at a better life.

Ella Yearbury has cerebral palsy, and her parents Kay and Brett defied her doctors to give her a chance to walk. Source: Seven Sharp

Ella Yearbury's spastic triplegia diagnosis left her with tight legs, meaning the five-year-old couldn't walk.

Her parents Kat and Brett Yearbury were determined to get help via life-changing surgery in the US.

However, this surgery would come at a major cost that the family would need to fundraise for.

"It was a massive rollercoaster. We never knew if we were going to raise anything from an event,"

With a little help from sporting celebrities Liam Malone and Joseph Parker they managed to raise $250,000, enough to travel to St Louis, Missouri and have the operation.

Just before they're about to leave the family faced another hurdle after Ella was diagnosed with epilepsy, making air travel potentially deadly for her.

They had to travel with a medical team in case of a mid-air emergency.

"I think when you're that far into it, you've got to commit it all. You can't really turn around mid-flight," Ella's dad Brett said.

Ella went under the knife for a four-hour operation on her fifth birthday, the results were all worth it.

"We went down to physio, and she just stood up, then put one hand in the air as well to top it off," Kat said.

Ella's parents say the risk is something any loving parent would want to take.

"Maybe we are crazy, but what would you do if you love your kid and you want the most for them? You'd do it."