A charity ball to make Theo’s wish come true

Melissa Hunt with 3-year-old son Theo Hunt who suffers from cerebral palsy is holding frequent fundraising to pay for the surgery he needs. Pictured with brother Louis Hunt 8.

Melissa Hunt with 3-year-old son Theo Hunt who suffers from cerebral palsy is holding frequent fundraising to pay for the surgery he needs. Pictured with brother Louis Hunt 8.

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The family of a brave little boy who suffers from a form of cerebral palsy are organising a charity ball to raise cash for an operation so he can walk unaided .

Theo Hunt (4), of Underwood, was born ten weeks premature and suffers from spastic diplegia, which makes it impossible for him to walk without the aid of a frame.

His friends and family launched the campaign ‘Theo’s Wish To Walk’ and have already raised four fifths of the £50,000 needed to pay for the high risk selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) procedure, which involves cutting nerves in the lower spine that are responsible for muscle rigidity.

Mum Melissa said: “The response has been amazing. It has been a really hard year. The local community has been amazing. The whole thing has been very emotional. This is a final push. The more we can raise, the better his long term chances will be.

“Even people who have had the operation still need ongoing physio and rehabilitation.”

Theo developed the condition as a result of being born at 30 weeks gestation after his identical twin brother, Gabriel, passed away in utero at 27 weeks.

With the spasticity or muscle tightness gone, intensive physiotherapy will mean that Theo will be able to learn to walk again.

Failure to have the operation would mean Theo would one day become permanently wheelchair bound. He currently walks with splints and a K-walker.

He was supposed to have the operation at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, in March this year but at the eleventh hour funding was pulled.

The campaign generated an extraordinary response with fundraising stunts, anonymous donations and determined fundraising filling the pot to almost £40,000.

Melissa says it is likely Theo will be having his operation in Leeds in November.

All the money donated for Theo’s cause will go to charity Tree of Hope, who specialise in supporting families of children who need specialist surgery. The charity will then donate the money to the hospital where Theo has his operation.

Melissa added: “After the operation, Theo’s diplegia could be completely managed through physio exercise, which no price can be put on. He is desperate to play in the garden with a football with his big brother and nothing could mean more to him or all of us.”

Fundraising events have already been held, including a fun day at his nursery, Oceans of Fun in Hucknall and a boxing show in Nottingham.