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Staplehurst couple raising £85,000 to pay for surgery for disabled son

By Natalie Tipping

A couple who say they've been hit by a double dose of bad luck are trying to raise another £85,000 to pay for a life-changing operation for their disabled son.

Little Charlie Farragher has cerebral palsy, is unable to walk and spends much of his time in a wheelchair.

But the 22-month-old, from Staplehurst, is a determined little boy and parents, Catherine and Ray, are confident he could make the same progress as big sister Eliana.

Charlie Farragher needs specialist surgery
Charlie Farragher needs specialist surgery

The three-year-old, who underwent the £85,000 surgery in St Louis, Missouri, late last year, is now able to run and dance.

Mrs Farragher said: “Cerebral palsy is not a genetic condition, so to have two children who suffer from it is just bad luck unfortunately.

“Charlie is already undergoing intensive physiotherapy before the operation, and we’ve noticed such an improvement.

"He can now pull himself up, and can get to the seventh step on our stairs, which is a huge achievement.”

She added: “The prediction is that Charlie will be able to walk with some sort of device, but it’s not just about walking.

"It’s about being able to get in and out of a car, or get up and down from the toilet, basically living a more independent life.

Charlie Farragher with sister Eliana, who benefited from the same operation
Charlie Farragher with sister Eliana, who benefited from the same operation

"He is a bright and engaging little boy and he deserves this chance.”

The family, of Headcorn Road, was backed by the organisers of a music festival on Saturday.

Last year the organisers of Littlefest, Elaine Symes and Toby Marsh, donated £2,560 from the profits to Eliana’s cause, and this year they have chosen to support the family again, by giving money to Little Charlie’s Big Chance.

Organisers Toby Marsh (left) and Elaine Symes (right) are joined by Mayor and Mayoress of Maidstone Malcolm and Brenda Greer at Littlefest 2017
Organisers Toby Marsh (left) and Elaine Symes (right) are joined by Mayor and Mayoress of Maidstone Malcolm and Brenda Greer at Littlefest 2017

Bands including The Relics Pink Floyd Tribute Band, Room3, Sourberry, Quiff and the Shades, and Monika Green took to the stage at Little Pagehurst Farm on Five Ash Lane, Staplehurst, last weekend.

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