Parents raising cash to help their son to walk

FAMILY Natasha and Steve McKnight with their son Louis, who needs an operation to help him walk. Picture: Sarah Standing (150756-5289)
FAMILY Natasha and Steve McKnight with their son Louis, who needs an operation to help him walk. Picture: Sarah Standing (150756-5289)
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‘IT WAS just devastating, I think I cried for about a week.’

Those were the words of a mother after finding out her son was diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy.

Louis McKnight and his parents were told he has spastic diplegia when he was two.

The disease means his muscles are so tight he is unable to straighten his legs or left arm fully.

Louis’ mum Natasha said: ‘It means Louis can only walk for a few minutes unaided without getting worn out.’

Now Natasha and her husband Steve are fundraising for the vital money needed for to give Louis the chance to walk again.

He will need an operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy which will improve Louis’ mobility and reduce the tightening of his muscles.

‘We decided it was the right time to go for the operation as we didn’t want Louis saying in a couple of years time “why didn’t you do anything”,’ said Natasha.

The pair are hoping Louis will be able to have the operation on the NHS.

Natasha said: ‘The NHS has been carrying out this type of surgery on around 100 children for the past two years and this is the final year they will be doing it so we hope we can be a part of it.’

The family will be going to the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust for an assessment day to find out whether he will be accepted.

If the family is unsuccessful with the trial then they will be forced to go private or travel to America where the operation is widely available.

Louis’ dad Steve said: ‘We have started raising the money just incase we can’t get the operation through the NHS.’

So far the family have raised more than £5,000 through a JustGiving page and the help of friends and family.

Natasha said: ‘A family who was raising money for their little girl who unfortunately passed away before she could have the operation donated us money from their fund.’

The family are also organising a family fun day and a medium night.

Lee will also be tackling a walk from Eastbourne to Portsmouth carrying 45kg.

To find out more or to donate go to treeofhope.org.uk/louiss-little-legs.