Vital £50K surgery needed for ‘happy and determined’ six-year-old Northamptonshire boy with cerebral palsy
A family of a six-year-old boy from Northamptonshire who has cerebral palsy is asking for support from the community to help raise £50,000 for vital surgery.
Jack Smith, from Earls Barton, who was born at 30 weeks is now a full-time wheelchair user as he has spasticity in his legs which causes him a lot of discomfort.
The six-year-old has cerebral palsy and epilepsy and his hips have dislocated three times, leaving him needing two surgeries and around six months in a brace.
Despite his pain, Jack’s family say he is a ‘happy, determined boy’ who loves singing and game shows, and dreams of being able to bounce upright on a bouncy castle, instead of lying down.
In a bid to help make this dream a reality, his parents - Mum, Claire Lawrence, dad Kevin Smith, who are both full-time carers - are hoping to raise £50,000 for selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery which should allow Jack more movement.
The surgery, while recommended by Jack’s medical assessors, is not funded by the NHS for children with his level of cerebral palsy.
Claire said: “Like any parents, we want to do the best for our children.
“We believe that SDR surgery will give Jack the best chance of achieving his full potential.”
The family, including Jack’s older siblings - Ben, 11, who also has cerebral palsy but has much more movement, Izzy, 13 and Emily, 16 - have already raised more than £7,000 with events including an online ‘Spin to Win’ event in honour of Jack’s love of quiz shows, an online jumble sale. Friends have also contributed by selling cheesecakes, dreamcatchers and more.
But more is needed to reach the target for Jack’s surgery, so for the youngster’s seventh birthday on March 5, the family is now asking people to take part in a sponsored ‘Jump for Jack’ event to help raise funds.
Claire continued: “We wanted to think of something fun that people can get their children involved in and obviously, do from home.
“We’re suggesting that once an hour for seven hours, people ask for sponsorship to perform some jumps of their choice – whether this is on a pogo stick, a trampoline or simply star jumps.
“Jack will be doing his on his exercise ball he uses for physio.
“We’ve already got babies taking part in bouncers, children with pogo sticks or skipping ropes and one friend even has a small bouncy castle they are going to use with their son.”
The family is supported by children’s charity Tree of Hope, which helps families fundraise for children, like Jack, with healthcare needs.
Gill Gibb, CEO of the charity, added: “We are delighted to be supporting Jack and his family in their fundraising and wish them all the best with their continued efforts.”
To get involved in the birthday event and donate to Jack’s fund, visit the Tree of Hope website.
Message from the editor:
Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.
In order for us to continue to provide trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper while out for your essential shopping.
Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.