THE date has been set for a £50,000 operation which could change a toddler’s life.
Oakley Smith has cerebral palsy which means he struggles to stand and straightening his legs is painful.
His parents Angie Mahon and Terry Smith have so far managed to raise £18,000 through fundraising and must raise at least another £12,000 by June 18 when they fly to Missouri in the USA for the operation.
The rest of the money is needed for aftercare, including intensive physiotherapy which will not be provided by the NHS.
Angie, 33, from Warren Park, said: ‘We think it’s doable.
‘The first £30,000 is just for the initial operation but we will have to go back next year for a smaller one.
‘Oakley definitely understands and we’ve explained it all to him. He talks about the doctor who is going to perform the operation.
‘Oakley’s twin Mykey picked up a penny he found the other day and gave it to me. He said it was for Oakley’s operation.’
The twins, three, were born after Angie ran through snow to get to hospital in 2010.
She was in labour and being driven to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham, when they got stuck in a traffic jam brought on by the treacherous weather.
In just her bedclothes, dressing gown and slippers she walked the final 400 yards uphill to reach the hospital.
Now she faces another uphill struggle to raise the money in time.
She said: ‘It’s scary but we’re delighted and can’t wait to get him over there and started on a new life for him. It’s going to be life-changing. It’s going to be hard work, but we’re absolutely determined to raise the money.’
Oakley will spend five days in hospital and will undergo four weeks of intensive physiotherapy at the St Louis Childrens Hospital before flying home.
Earlier this month a fundraising evening was held at AMF Bowling, in Bedhampton.
On Saturday night there will be a family ‘kara-oakley’ evening at The Swan pub, in Jessie Road, Bedhampton.
The next event is a ladies’ night on June 7 at The Pyramids, Southsea, with male strippers and an Ann Summers catwalk show.
Tickets are £15 and can be bought from pyramids-live.co.uk
To donate to Oakley’s walking fund, go to justgiving.com/Angela-Mahon.