Can you help Freddy Hazelwood, from Ardleigh Green, fulfill football dream?
- Credit: Archant
A football-mad youngster unable to walk unaided is asking readers to help fulfil his dream of playing on the pitch with his big brother.
Three-year-old Freddy Hazelwood, of Primrose Glen, Ardleigh Green, weighed just 3lb 8oz when he was born prematurely, and spent his first 10 weeks in hospital.
During this time, he was diagnosed with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy.
It means he’s unable to stretch his arms and legs, or place his feet flat on the ground, and is forced to use a walking frame to get around.
Freddy said: “I have learned how to zoom around with my frame, but I’d love to be able to walk by myself, and I would love to be able to play football with my big brother Archie.”
Now his family are hoping to raise £80,000 to send Freddy to America for a potentially life-changing operation, known as selective dorsal rhizotomy, which targets the nerves causing the illness.
It would be followed by two years of intensive physiotherapy back home.
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Mum Shelley described her “heartbreak” at watching Freddy struggle to keep up with other children.
“He’s such a bright, happy little boy and old beyond his years but his condition does cause him pain,” she said. “Freddy starts school next September and it’s my dream that he’ll have had the operation by then.”
Recorder readers have already helped wheelchair-bound Ellie-Louise Sudbury undergo the same operation in 2012. The 10-year-old, from Gobions Avenue, Romford, has been walking independently since early this year.
To read more about Freddy or to donate go to www.treeofhope.org.uk/football-with-big-brother or http://www.justgiving.com/Help-Freddy-walk-tall