‘If we can’t raise £30,000 our boy may never walk’

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A TODDLER could soon lose the use of his legs, if his parents cannot raise £30,000 for surgery.

Four year old Charlie Owen of Meadowcroft, Aylesbury, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in his legs at the age of 14 months, after his parents Emma and Steve had noticed he had not began to sit up or crawl.

“When we discovered his diagnosis we were absolutely devastated,” said mother-of-two Emma.

“His condition means he has to use a walker which fits behind him, and he leans on, to get around.

“Watching Charlie not being able to keep up with his friends is just heartbreaking, and soon he is going to ask why.

“At birthday parties if the children are playing musical statues for example, I have to pick him up so he can join in.

“He never groans or grumbles, but it’s such a shame for him.

“He’s four years old, he should be running around in the park or playing football.

“Instead, visits to physiotherapists and hospitals have just become normal for him.”

Currently, Charlie has a very high muscle tone in his legs and feet, leaving them permanently very tight, preventing him from walking or standing unaided.

And when he does walk, Charlie’s feet bend inwards because of the muscles, which is beginning to cause his shin bones to twist.

He therefore requires an operation to remove the ‘bad’ nerves in his spine which send messages to his muscles, causing them to grow at a different rate to his bones.

The effects of the surgery are permanent and while it will not reverse the damage already done to his bones, it will mean he can walk with very little deformity.

If he does not get the treatment he could, however, be left wheelchair-bound.

But the operation is not funded by the NHS as a matter of course, and will cost the family £30,000, which also includes the vital physiotherapy to rebuild his muscles post surgery.

“Charlie is such a bright, confident and cheeky little boy, and that’s the way we would like it to stay,” added Emma.

To sponsor Charlie so his parents can afford this life-changing operation, visit www.justgiving.com/Charlie-SDRsurgery