Published: 00:00, 28 March 2014 |
Updated: 15:14, 28 March 2014
The generosity of the people of Tenterden means a disabled boy can have an operation which could help him walk unaided.
The parents of Christian Fortunato are waiting for a date for the surgery which may mean the six-year-old will no longer need his wheelchair and walking frame.
They have been fundraising for five months to meet the costs and now have enough to book the £20,000 procedure.
Max Fortunato, who runs Costa Coffee in Tenterden High Street, said: “We are overwhelmed by people’s generosity and want to thank them all.
“We only started fundraising last October, but have enough money to book the operation.
“It is a terrific achievement and is what we have been working for – we can’t thank people who have donated enough.
“This has only been possible because of their generosity. They have been amazing.”
Christian suffers from spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy. His legs are in a permanent spasm and he cannot put his feet down flat so has to use a walker or wheelchair to get about.
He has been accepted for an operation, selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), by Leeds General Infirmary. It would cut the nerves in his spine, hopefully enabling him to put his feet down flat and improve his balance.
But the NHS has stopped funding the surgery, meaning Christian will have to go privately.
Mr Fortunato, 41, and his partner Kelly Roast, 29, launched a £30,000 fundraising appeal for the operation and aftercare.
“The operation costs £20,000 and we have enough money to book it,” said Mr Fortunato. “We have asked for a date at the end of April or beginning of May as we want Christian to enjoy the summer.
“We also want to take him to Italy to see my family, which we could not do last summer as Kelly was expecting our second son, Oliver, and was advised not to travel.”
Christian is likely to spend four weeks in hospital followed by several months of physiotherapy.
Mr Fortunato said: “We have so many pledges still to come in.
“If we need more money for the physiotherapy, we will carry on fundraising but we are going to take a break from that for a while to be a family again.”
Every morning at 10am we play you an hour of tunes from the 90s. We call it, #WeLoveThe90s.
Play 'Say It' with Garry and Laura on kmfm Breakfast and you could win £1,000!
Wake up to kmfm Breakfast with Garry and Laura - it's Kent's alarm call.
Your No1 guide to getting married in Kent. From dresses to discos and venues to veils, we've got everything you could possibly need for your big day
Education, Training & Childcare is a special supplement published by KM Media Group four times a year. Click here for latest e-edition.
A guide for your future. For year 11 students in Kent and Medway. Click here for the e-edition.
Get the latest food and drink news, recipes from some of the nation's top chefs plus updates from Kent's vineyards and breweries.
Search in your local area to find your perfect partner in Kent, with FreshStart Dating!
PLUS, register for free!.
Read our pick of the best holiday destinations. Whether its a weekend break, or something a little bit longer, we have reviewed a wide range of holidays.