Support Theo’s wish to walk

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A big fundraising campaign is underway to raise £50,000 to pay for a life-changing operation that would help an Underwood tot to walk.

Four-year-old Theo Hunt has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy as a result of being born 10 weeks prematurely and can currently only walk with the aid of a frame.

Theo needs a special operation to increase the movement in his legs and help him walk more normally, but which is not available on the NHS.

Now his family and friends are rallying around to try and raise the cash needed to pay for the operation and follow-on physiotherapy that Theo needs to keep him out of a wheelchair.

Mum Melissa said: “There’s only a few hospitals in this country that carry out the procedure, including Leeds and Great Ormond Street.

“But a surgeon in America has been carrying out the surgery for 25 years and has 3,000 surgeries under his belt, so it’s not an easy decision of where to have the operation once we have the money.”

Spastic diplegia primarily involves tightening of the muscles in the legs, making it impossible for Theo to walk as most people can.

He 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.

The operation that he needs is called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy and is high risk, involving cutting nerves in the lower spine that are responsible for muscle rigidity.

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

He was supposed to have the operation at Queen’s Medical Centre, Nottingham, in March this year but at the 11th hour funding was pulled.

A number of fundraising events have already been held, including a fun day at his nursery, Oceans of Fun in Hucknall, which is hoping to raise £1,000 for the cause.

“Theo has been with us since he was one so we wanted to get involved in the fundraising,” said co-owner Julie Lock.

Melissa added: “We are grateful to the nursery and all who are helping to boost our appeal and help us reach our fundraising target.”

To find out more about the campaign visit www.justgiving.com/theoswishtowalk.