Family issue heartfelt plea for help in getting son to walk

Oliver Osborne pictured with his family (from left), dad Terry, mum Sallyanne and sister Millie. Picture by Malcolm Wells
Oliver Osborne pictured with his family (from left), dad Terry, mum Sallyanne and sister Millie. Picture by Malcolm Wells
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‘DON’T let our son lose his chance to walk.’

That’s the plea from the parents of a little boy who have had to cut back the all-important healthcare their son receives.

Seven-year-old Oliver Osborne, from Park Gate, has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy.

Since undergoing a major operation to help him walk in 2014, he has been having physiotherapy, swimming lessons and other specialist care the NHS can’t fund.

Through the family’s Footsteps 4 Oliver appeal, £100,000 was raised to get him to the USA to have the operation – plus another last year – and the funds have been paying for his post-op care.

But now they’re running low and the family are asking for help.

Terry Osborne, 41, said: ‘Oliver having regular care is the difference between him being able to walk, or being confined to a wheelchair.

‘Ultimately the success of the operations depend upon whether or not he has continued physiotherapy treatment, which costs £140 per session.

‘He’s supposed to have one per week, but we’ve had to cut it to one every two weeks.

‘He also has swimming lessons twice a week and specialist care at SDR Fitness in Wales every six to eight weeks, costing £400.

‘There he works on movement, stepping, confidence and on conditioning his brain to give his legs mobility.

‘We know without all this therapy he wouldn’t have made the progress he has.

‘The NHS can only provide physiotherapy for Oliver once every month or so and it’s not enough.

‘We’re so grateful for all the kindness and support we’ve had so far.

‘Everyone has been brilliant.’

Oliver now uses quad sticks to walk and is starting to use sticks with single legs.

Last year he went back to St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri to have an operation to give his feet more heel-to-toe movement.

The total cost of Oliver’s two operations is £50,000.

His mum Sallyanne, 43, said: ‘This is so important for Oliver.

‘We’ve spent all this time and money getting him to where he needs to be and now he just needs that extra push.

‘If he doesn’t get that because we’re running out of money, it will have all been a waste.

‘More than anything in the world you want to see your child able to walk and play.

‘Knowing we’ve only got a small amount left causes us sleepless nights. You just lie awake worrying and wondering where the next lot is going to come from.’

The family are looking to host a charity ball this year.

Funds donated go straight to registered charity Tree of Hope, which receives invoices for Oliver’s treatment.

Visit justgiving.com/fundraising/footsteps4oliver. The website shows the total amount donated to the family via the site – but most of this has now been spent.