LITTLE Callum Brown’s dream of walking tall is a step closer to reality, after a date for his life-changing operation was confirmed.
The eight-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer, and his parents, Sharon and Neil Brown, have raised more than £50,000 to pay for the surgery in America which they hope will enable him to walk unaided.
The youngster, from Derwent Road in Seaton Sluice, isn’t able to walk far on his own, and it is hoped the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery performed by Dr Park at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, will increase the muscle tone in his lower legs.
Thanks to the fundraising efforts of the local community and umbrella organisation the Angels of the North, the money raised will allow him to undergo the surgery – and a further operation to lengthen hamstrings and heel chords – and then continue with vital physiotherapy on his return to the UK.
Mum Sharon is now busy making the arrangements for the trip, with the surgery due to take place on January 22.
Sharon said: “I am excited for him, but really nervous. When I got the date I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry.
“It’s been two years of fundraising so I just can’t believe it’s really happening.”
A pupil at New Hartley First School, until recently Callum has had to rely on a wheelchair to get him around.
“He’s done such hard work to get to the stage where he can have this operation, and he’s now using the sticks, but the hard work really begins when we come back,” said Sharon.
Callum will need intensive daily physiotherapy when he returns after the surgery, and may need to return to St Louis.
Sharon added: “The fundraising will continue so we can get physiotherapy for Callum when we come back.
“It’s been tough, and it’ll be a hard year next year, but hopefully it will all be worth it.
“Thank you to everyone who has helped make it possible.”