WALKING and running unaided is something most people take for granted.
But for one Titchfield family, it will be the result of years of worry, months of fundraising, weeks of operations and one trip to America.
Harvey Young, three, was born with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, meaning he could not use his legs properly.
Harvey, his mum Natalie and nanna Sheila Weston, will be flying to the St. Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri today ahead of Harvey’s life-changing operation on Tuesday.
They will be keeping dad Nick updated minute-by-minute.
The family heard about an operation which cuts the nerves at the bottom of the spine and removes the spasticity in his legs, making them easier to use.
Because of where they lived, they fought a battle to get the NHS to fund the £50,000 needed to pay for the treatment.
The community rallied round and many fundraising events were held, raising an impressive £34,000.
Natalie said; ‘It’s been overwhelming. Friends and family and even people we don’t know have been donating. We try to go along to all the fundraisers so that people can meet Harvey and see who they are helping.’
The £34,000 was enough for Harvey to have the operation, but the family still needs to raise £16,000 for his physiotherapy afterwards.
Natalie said: ‘The operation is just the key to the door. After that, he will need months of physio to build up the muscles in his legs and get them to work properly.’
Natalie said she will be on tenterhooks after the operation as she will not be able to touch Harvey for three days.
Natalie said: ‘When the doctors at St. Louis told me that Harvey might one day be able to run, I broke down.
‘That’s why we have gone down this route, so hopefully one day he will be able to run and jump and be like his friends and go to the park.
‘At the moment, he is restricted and stands and watches. I know deep down he wants to go and run about with them.
‘He is very determined and really tries hard, so we are hoping that he will be able to walk before Christmas. That would be amazing.’
To follow Harvey’s progress search ‘Help4Harvey’ on Facebook.
Go to help4harvey.co.uk to make a donation or find out more.