Time to dig deep to help keep Bedhampton’s Oakley strong

Oakley Smith sitting on his dad Terry's lap, surrounded by his family and teachers from Warren Park Primary School
Oakley Smith sitting on his dad Terry's lap, surrounded by his family and teachers from Warren Park Primary School

THIS WEEK IN 1993: Gift of life put on ice – surgeon preserves transplant organs

  • Oakley Smith has cerebral palsy
  • Money was raised for operation in America to help him walk
  • It was a success but ongoing physiotherapy is needed
  • Family and school now raising cash for therapy and new wheelchair
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THE progress of a little boy with cerebral palsy could be stalled unless more money is raised.

Kind-hearted readers of The News helped raise thousands of pounds to fly Oakley Smith to America for a life-changing operation to allow him to walk – just like his twin brother Mykey.

Oakley has come so far. It would be such a shame if his progress had to stop now

Angela Mahon

The 2013 operation was a success, but in order to progress Oakley, now six, must have expensive physiotherapy several times a week.

His mum Angela Mahon, of Scratchface Lane, Bedhampton, was able to pay for it through the generosity of supporters but the funding has almost run out. And £2,400 is needed for a new wheelchair.

Teachers and staff at Warren Park Primary School, where Oakley is taught, spent an entire 12 hours cycling on a static bike to raise money for Oakley.

And pupils all paid a donation to wear green. Angela, 36, said: ‘It all went very well.

‘Oakley got really emotional seeing the whole school had turned green for him.

‘The teachers had been going on the bike since 5am. They did a great job.’

And Angela is now appealing for readers to dig deep too.

She, said: ‘Oakley has done so well and worked really, really hard over the past three years since we went to America.

‘He does a daily training programme at home but he also needs physiotherapy.

‘Oakley has swimming lessons and plays football for the Portsmouth FC cerebral palsy football team.

‘It means he can go in his walking chair and play football just like everyone else. He absolutely loves it.

‘The problem is that we’re down to about our last £200 in funding. Physiotherapy is £90 an hour. And we still have to travel to Scotland for strength and conditioning training.

Oakley has come so far. It would be such a shame if his progress had to stop now.’

Some of the money raised will go towards a new wheelchair.

Angela said: ‘Mr Harris and the rest of the school have been absolutely fantastic. They have really helped his confidence.

‘He doesn’t feel like a disabled child, he feels like every other child at the school. The wheelchair he has is now too small for him – he’s had it since he was two years old.

‘But the waiting list for a new one is so long the Wheelchair Service has advised us to fundraise ourselves.’

To make a donation go to justgiving.com/Angela-Mahon1.