July 31 2014 Latest news:
by Ajay Nair, Reporter
Sunday, July 13, 2014
A boy in need of a life-changing operation is one step closer to achieving his dream of playing football with his brother after family and friends helped raise thousands of pounds.
Freddy Hazelwood, four, of Hornchurch, was diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy and is unable to walk independently.
Since November last year, fundraisers have hosted a series of charity events – raising £48,000 for Freddy to undergo specialist surgery in America.
Freddy’s condition means that he is unable to stretch his arms and legs or place his feet flat on the ground. He has to use a walking frame to support himself.
His mum Shelley said: “I’m totally overwhelmed, totally lost for words. You have got complete strangers giving you £20 notes.”
Mrs Hazelwood says there is a good chance that Freddy will be able to walk independently after the SDR (selective dorsal rhizotomy) surgery.
“As a parent, you have just got to get on with it. We wouldn’t be here without my mum and dad – I couldn’t ask for more support.”
Fundraisers are still raising money to meet the £80,000 target. This will also fund the five times a week physiotherapy sessions which Freddy will need after the operation.
Shelley added: “Freddy’s excited – he’s just looking forward to not having his walking frame.”
Doctors predict it could take up to two years of intensive physiotherapy before Freddy can finally fulfil his dream of playing football with brother Archie.
Shelley – who says the hardest thing is “seeing other children his age playing” – remains optimistic about the procedure.
And she is “amazed” by the “generous” donations put towards Freddy’s cause.
The next fundraising event is a ladies’ night at the New Windmill Hall, in Upminster, on July 26.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information. Donate directly at justgiving.com/Help-Freddy-walk-tall.