Young Northampton Saints' fan Harry has successful cerebral palsy operation after Chron appeal
A young Northampton boy is on his way to taking his first steps unaided by his parents after undergoing a successful operation - with thanks to Chron readers' donations.
Six-year-old Harry Restall, of Duston, was diagnosed with diplegic cerebral palsy when he was a baby and his only hope of walking was undergoing Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery and extensive physiotherapy.
It was announced last year, after his parents worked hard to raise £30,000 for private surgery, that Harry would instead get his operation on the NHS at Great Ormond Street Hospital following a long period of uncertainty.
Three weeks ago the young Northampton Saints' fan had his long-awaited operation, which has eliminated all the spasticity (muscle tightness) in his legs, which will allow him to try and walk.
The East Hunsbury Primary School pupil can now wriggle his toes, sit cross legged and is not walking on his tip-toes.
The money raised through crowdfunding and fun days will now instead fund private intensive physiotherapy, which the youngster needs for up to three years.
But, the family say they still need a further £20,000 to make sure they can fund all of this, as Harry sees a physiotherapist for four hours a week, at £80 an hour.
Harry's mum Jenny said: "Without physio Harry's SDR operation won't be as successful. He will have to do that for two to three years.
"Now, he can sit cross legged whereas before he could not get his legs down. He can now sit level on the carpet like all of his little school friends.
"He is not tiptoeing anymore, that was a big thing. It's still early days and it will take about four months to see the results but we need to raise more money to make sure his operation has not gone to waste."
Born prematurely, Harry 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.
After spending three weeks in London with Harry she is so happy to see him making improvements.
"Fundraising is the best thing we have ever done for him. The physical difference in his limbs is amazing. Everything we take for granted, he is now doing," Jenny added.
"As soon as he was waking up and he was recovering, the first thing we did was feel his legs and they were not stiff anymore.
"He was such a complete little soldier."
Jenny has also thanked Northampton Chronicle & Echo readers who have helped to contribute towards Harry's operation
"Our family would like to thank Chron readers and all of our supporters who follow Harry's small charity at Tree of Hope; One small step for Harry. "Your fundraising efforts and, most importantly, get well messages have been very gratefully received.
"We look forward to updating you all with Harry's continued progress. We would not be here if it wasn't for you."