IT HAS been more than a year since Aiden Farrell had life-changing surgery and his mum says he is a different boy.
The five-year-old suffers with cerebral palsy but was accepted to have an operation in February last year in Bristol.
He matched the criteria to have the Selective Dorsal Rhitzotony surgery.
Since the operation, Aiden’s mum Sara has seen him start school and learn to walk using just sticks.
But the Gosport family still have to pay for extensive aftercare treatment including physiotherapy, a personal trainer and trip to Scotland for specialist care every three months.
Sara said: ‘Since having the operation Aiden is a totally different little boy.
‘He has started school now which is fantastic and he loves it. He can sleep through the night now without being in pain so the operation was a huge success.
‘But we are still fundraising because his aftercare is privately funded and it is vital to his progression.’
To help boost donations the family have been organising a number of fundraisers.
Ian Tautz, whose daughter Kiki is in the same class as Aiden, is completing a swim across the Solent to help raise money for the aftercare.
Ian, 32, said : ‘I have always wanted to swim the Solent and thought this would be a good way to do it.
‘I grew up on the Isle of Wight and it is something I wanted to complete.
‘It is also a great opportunity to raise money for Aiden.’
Ian, also from Gosport, added that he had never done anything like this before but he was training hard for it.
‘I have always enjoyed swimming but I have never done anything this extreme before,’ he said.
‘I am doing around two to three swims a week and core strength once a week to give myself the best chance to complete it.’
Ian hopes to raise £1,000 for Aiden and has already got more than £200.
To make a donation visit their Just Giving page at justgiving.com/Aiden-Farrell.