Published: 00:01, 27 December 2016
An appeal has been launched to raise £50,000 for a life-changing operation which will allow a five-year-old boy with cerebral palsy to run around with his friends.
Theo Knott, of College Road, Deal, was diagnosed with the muscle co-ordination disability which affects his legs, arm, balance and vision, two years ago.
He can only walk for a short time with a frame until it becomes painful. At other times he uses a wheelchair.
Last week, his parents Naomi Morton, 26, and Steven Knott, 27, received the fantastic news their son had been accepted for selective dorsal rhisotomy (SDR) – spinal surgery to reduce the spasticity or tightness in his legs.
But unfortunately the NHS can’t fund Theo’s surgery or rehabilitation – which is just as important as the operation itself - so they have no option but to find the cash themselves. With the help of charity Just4Children, an appeal branded Theo’s Mission to Walk has been launched and they are now seeking support from the community.
"To see your child struggle on a daily basis is just heartbreaking. We never thought we’d be accepted for this operation but now we have we’re just hoping it will give him the independent life he deserves"
Ms Morton said: “To see your child struggle on a daily basis is just heartbreaking.
“We never thought we’d be accepted for this operation but now we have we’re just hoping it will give him the independent life he deserves.
“For us as parents, to be able to see our gorgeous little boy play independently with his friends and his little sister, Indie, would be the most amazing thing in the world.”
While the surgery is not a cure for the St Mary’s Primary School pupil, it is likely to hugely improve his standard of living. It has been on offer in America since 1990 and is often referred to as the miracle operation. Following trials in England, it is now on offer at Great Ormond Street but only to private patients.
Ms Morton said: “After the operation Theo will require intense physiotherapy on a daily basis for a minimum of 12 months along with the purchase of specialised equipment.
“Other therapy will include horse riding, hydrotherapy, swimming, specialised post SDR physio, orthotic appointments and suitable footwear, to allow Theo to reach his full potential.
“All he wants is to run around and play with his friends and this operation will give him the independence he needs and so badly wants.”
Theo, who loves horse riding and swimming, has been told about the operation and is just excited as his parents.
Ms Morton said: “He keeps asking if all the pennies are in yet.”
Yesterday braved the freezing water in the annual Boxing Day Dip in air of Theo's appeal.
The waiting list for the operation is about six to eight months but after that time Theo will be kept at the top of the waiting list until the funds are in.
For updates, like Theo’s Mission to Walk on Facebook.
If you would like to hold an event, donate cash or a raffle prize email Theo's parents.
Donate via the secure fundraising page.