THE family of a six-year-old boy with cerebral palsy are attempting to raise £40,000 to pay for a specialist operation in the United States of America.
Jamielee and Jimmy Telford, parents of young Harvey, held a fundraising evening to bring in some much-needed cash.
Harvey is in need of an operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), which involves the division of some of the nerves as they enter the spinal cord to free up constricting muscles.
The operation is no longer available through the NHS, meaning the family has to raise enough money for Harvey to undergo the procedure at St Louis Children’s Hospital in St Louis, Missouri.
The aim of the operation is to ease muscle spasticity and improve mobility in people with cerebral palsy. It involves cutting nerves in the lower spine that are responsible for muscle rigidity.
Jamielee said: ‘The NHS says it no longer funds it so we have to go to St Louis.
‘They cut some of the nerves in the spine to stop them from doing the wrong thing.
‘At the moment he has to crawl around because that’s the easiest way for him to move.’
Harvey’s mum says the treatment would give him the freedom of mobility, potentially assisted by a frame.
‘I just want him to be able to walk independently,’ she said.
‘At the moment he just gives up. It’s too much hard work for him.’
Harvey has already undergone stem cell treatment at a clinic near Düsseldorf in Germany in 2009, which the family raised the funding for.
On Friday night, the family held an event at the Pyramids leisure centre on Southsea seafront with more than 100 people.
They raised more than £1,000, which will be added to the £6,800 raised from other events.
‘It went really well,’ Jamielee said.
‘It was brilliant. We had a raffle, an auction, and a disco which the Pyramids have helped us with and they have donated us the space to use for free.
‘We have got a horse show, as I have horses, going on in Thorney Island which is all being done for Harvey.
‘There are some other events too that we hope will raise some money for us.
‘Any donations, small or large, will be gratefully received as we help Harvey to walk.’
To donate to the family and help Harvey have his operation, visit justgiving.com/harveyswishtowalk6