Time is running out for a five-year-old Ashurst boy who suffers from Cerebral Palsy to undergo a life-changing operation.
Oliver Poinsignon, who was born prematurely weighing less than 2lbs, has difficulty walking because of extremely tight and painful muscles in his legs.
Even with high levels of physiotherapy his disability will get worse with age and eventually leave Oliver wheelchair bound.
There is an operation that can change his life - but it is only available for children aged two to six and costs around £25,000.
The cost of physiotherapy which would follow is likely to cost another £25,000.
Oliver’s family has launched a desperate appeal for money.
His father, Jean Marc, said: “Despite his disability, Oliver is a very intelligent, charismatic and fun loving little boy, who is already only too aware of his limitations.
“He is already very conscious of other people’s reactions to his disability and of having to wear unsightly leg braces.
“To be able to walk with a normal gait, and to be perceived to be normal would be truly life-changing for him.”
The procedure Oliver would undergo is called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR).
It involves severing spinal nerves to remove spasticity.
There is no other permanent treatment for Cerebral Palsy.
The operation would greatly reduce the number of orthopaedic operations that Oliver will require in the future and would mean that he could run, jump and climb up and down stairs, just like any other little boy.
Most importantly, it would mean that Oliver could continue to walk unaided, even as he goes into adulthood.
The youngster has been accepted for the operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
However the NHS does not fund these procedures.
Jean Marc continued: “Unfortunately we are running out of time as the optimal age for the operation is two to six and Oliver is already five.
“It is terrible in a way ,as you can have a breast enlargement operation or even a sex change on the NHS, but not a life-changing operation for a child.”
To find out more and for a chance to donate visit https://www.facebook.com/SDR4Oliver or Oliver’s Just Giving page http://www.justgiving.com/sdr4oliver
Donations can be sent via text to 70070 using SDRO52 followed by a number between one and ten.