A mother and father are hosting their biggest event yet in their aim to send their three-year-old son to America to receive life changing surgery.
Kate and Barry Hartin, from Haywards Heath, need to raise around £70,000 to pay for their son Daniel, who has Cerebral Palsy, to travel to America for an operation and pay for the care needed to help him learn to walk.
Kate explained that Dan’s condition causes his muscles to constantly tense-up, making him very tired and making it impossible for him to walk or move as a normal toddler would.
She said: “He’s gone to pre-school this week. He’s the only one on his tummy. Others are running around. They’re able to go out on the swings, on the slide. Dan just has to watch. That’s not something I want for Dan.”
Dan and his twin sister Alice were born three months prematurely. Alice has developed as expected.
“He’s at that age where he doesn’t know that he’s different,” his mother added, “he sees other people playing and he laughs. He enjoys it with them by watching them rather than doing anything himself. Running and kicking a ball with his brother and sister is a no no.”
The operation, called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, will release the tension in Dan’s muscles and, followed with physiotherapy, will help him learn to walk.
Although the highly skilled operation is performed in this country, NHS funding is almost impossible to come by.
Kate and Barry have been fund raising since November last year and have booked the operation for July 4.
They have raised £20,000 but need £30,000 up-front before he can have the operation.
They then need a further £40,000 to cover physiotherapy sessions.
Kate said if they can’t raise the funds needed they will have to cancel the operation or re-mortgage their house.
Kate added: “That’s our only hope. We want him to be able to interact with his peers. We don’t want him to be in diapers when he’s 17. We have this option, we have this choice, we have to do it.”
The family has held many fund raisers but on July 4 they will host their biggest event yet - a three-course dinner and dance at Birch Hotel, Haywards Heath. Tickets will cost £55.