The film was completed by December 1959 when it received a ‘U’ (Universal) classification from the Censor; the classification was necessary for the film to be shown in cinemas. The first public screening of the film was on August 4 1960 at the Odeon Leicester Square as a supporting film during the premiere of 'The Lost World'.
John Davis of Rank, a notoriously conservative accountant, arranged for ‘Jessy’ to go on general release around Britain through the Rank’s Odeon cinema chain starting August 15 as a supporting film for the Paul Newman, feature ‘From the Terrace.’ Renown waived their distribution fees and all profits from the film went to the National Spastics Society.
According to Ian Dawson-Shepherd “Many parents of spastic children and some executive members of the Society disliked it describing it as “Silly!" and "Untrue!". Dawson-Shepherd agreed that the film did not show the truth, but it did introduce a wider audience to the challenges facing children like Jessy.
Dick Richards, the film critic of the Daily Mirror present at the premiere of ‘The Lost World’, wrote of ‘Jessy,’ “The sad plight of spastic children is shown with warmth and affectionate sympathy”, and closes his review with “It is more than a documentary —it is a plea. Please do not miss it.”