Chron readers thanked by Northampton family after thousands pledged to help Harry walk

Harry pictured by the Chron in June this year enjoying pass the parcel with his school friends at his fun day. Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.
Harry pictured by the Chron in June this year enjoying pass the parcel with his school friends at his fun day. Pictures: Kirsty Edmonds.

A Northampton youngster with cerebral palsy has been given the chance to learn to walk after Chron readers donated £30,000 to his family.

Six-year-old Harry Restall, of Duston, was diagnosed with diplegic cerebral palsy when he was a baby and his only hope of walking is undergoing Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery and extensive physiotherapy.

Pictured left-right: Amelia, Jenny, Harry and Gareth Restall.

Pictured left-right: Amelia, Jenny, Harry and Gareth Restall.

It was announced last week, after a six month £30,000 fundraising campaign, that Harry will now get his surgery on the NHS at Great Ormond Street Hospital following a long period of uncertainty.

This means that Harry will not have to go to the USA for his operation and will have surgery in the UK within the next eight months.

The money will now instead fund private intensive physiotherapy for three years.

His mum Jenny said: "At the start of our fundraising plight in January 2018 we could not have imagined the level of support we would have received. It has been beyond overwhelming.

"Within six months we had raised £30,000. This will be used for vital intensive physiotherapy for the two-to-three years that is required for his rehabilitation after surgery.

"What is astonishing is that the majority of our supporters are people we have never met. We cannot thank you all enough for your kindness and compassion. These selfless, inspirational people have truly changed a very deserving little boy's life. We are incredibly grateful for giving Harry the best gift ever."

Doctors cannot be sure that the six-year-old will walk independently following the operation but the youngster stood by himself for the first time just a few weeks ago as he attended intensive physiotherapy in Wales.

Jenny added: "It would mean so much for Harry, his family and friends for him to live a more independent lifestyle. He is very excited about potentially walking unaided.

"There is so much he wants to do like stand up and make a drink, reach into the treat cupboard, use the toilet in private without assistance and rustle his feet in the autumn leaves.

"The surgery has come at such a great time as the older he is getting, the tighter and more painful his legs are becoming. This is the biggest and most important thing that Harry will achieve from the surgery - no more pain."

Born prematurely, the East Hunsbury Primary School pupil, had bowel surgery at a day old and fought off countless sepsis infections while he was in the neonatal intensive care unit. The ordeal left him with brain damage.

Jenny took time off work to become his full-time carer and she has been trying different methods of fundraising for Harry, which included a summer fun day at the Squirrels pub in Duston, which raised over £2,332.

"Your team and your faithful readers have contributed to changing Harry’s life for the better. Thank you so much," she said.