THE cost of an operation that could change a little boy’s life has been reached thanks to the huge generosity of donors.
Three-year-old Oakley Smith has cerebral palsy which means he struggles to stand and straightening his legs is painful.
Just two months ago his parents Angie Mahon and Terry Smith were £12,000 short of the £30,000 needed to pay for the operation in Missouri, USA, which will hopefully enable Oakley to walk.
But they pulled out all the stops and the date has now been set for July 13 – when Oakley, from Warren Park, will fly for treatment.
Angie, 33, said: ‘We’re absolutely over the moon. We’re so excited.
‘We’ve managed to do it because we’ve had so much going on.
‘We had a sponsored fancy dress walk from Portsdown Hill to Southsea – that was good.
‘The Swallow Pub did a summer fete for us that raised quite a bit.
‘I held a ladies’ night at The Pyramids and at the Leigh Park Festival we raised quite a bit.
‘We’d like to say a big thank-you to everybody who has donated.
‘We wouldn’t have been able to have done this without the support of the community.
‘It has been amazing Without them we would not be able to go.’
At the moment Oakley cannot even sit comfortably – he has to sit on his knees.
He can only walk using a frame and needs a lot of help.
His parents hope the operation will allow him to walk more freely, giving him a better quality of life.
Oakley will undergo selective dorsal rhizotomy, a complicated procedure which involves cutting some of the sensory nerve fibres that come from the muscles and enter the spinal cord.
He will spend five days in hospital and will undergo four weeks of intensive physiotherapy at the St Louis Children’s Hospital before flying home.
And the fundraising will continue.
On top of the cost of the operation around another £20,000 is needed for aftercare because it will not be provided on the NHS.
Oakley will need ongoing intensive physiotherapy and occupational therapy.
Oakley and his twin brother Mykey, 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.
To donate to Oakley’s walking fund, go to justgiving.com/Angela-Mahon.