WHEN Nick and Natalie Young were told that their year-old son Harvey had cerebral palsy, they were devastated.
Like many parents faced with this situation, they have done whatever they can to make their now three-year-old son’s life as normal as possible.
And that is why they are raising £50,000 to take him to St Louis in America where specialists will give him an operation that could change his life.
The trip to the children’s hospital has already been booked for June, but the family, from Bellflower Way in Titchfield, face an uphill battle to pay for it.
Nick, a systems engineer for Nats, said: ‘You can imagine the effect on us when we were told, we were devastated.
‘We were told Harvey had brain damage and it was spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, but we didn’t know what that was.’
The condition means Harvey has severe motor skills problems and could end up having to use a wheelchair.
The family carried out their own research and found out about an operation called a selective dorsal rhizotomy that could allow the youngster to walk unaided. It is available on the NHS, but only in a handful of locations in the UK and the selection criteria is very strict.
‘We could end up waiting 18 months to two years just to be told that Harvey’s not eligible,’ Nick added. ‘We don’t want to take that chance, which is why we’re opting to take this route instead. But that means we need to raise another £30,000 in about 14 weeks.’
The operation itself will cost £35,000, with a further £15,000 for the two years of intensive physiotherapy afterwards.
Nick said: ‘They are telling us he would be able to live a completely independent life. We have to think about his future and what this might mean for him.’
Friends and family have been raising money with various efforts, including running marathons, raffles and a cake sale bringing in £5,000 so far.
Natalie said: ‘To have raised so much in just four weeks is brilliant, but there’s still a long way to go. We’ll do whatever it takes.’