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Fundraising campaign raises £40,000 for Ushaw Moor lad
A BRAVE schoolboy will be given the pioneering surgery he needs to walk freely for the first time after a campaign raised £40,000.
Thomas Brennan, five, suffers from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, leaving him in constant pain and unable to walk more than a few steps.
Thomas, who calls his condition his crazy legs, is often confined to a pushchair or wheelchair.
Since February, relatives, friends and wellwishers have raised funds to help him, and Thomas now has a date for surgery.
The youngster, from Ushaw Moor, County Durham, will fly to St Louis, Missouri, US, in early August for a four hour operation.
Thomas’ mother, Jodie Bussey, said: “We’re absolutely over the moon. With everyone’s help, we have got Thomas his dream come true.”
“We are just hoping this time next year he will be running about just like all the other boys and girls.”Mum, Jodie Bussey
The operation involves cutting into Thomas’ spine and severing a nerve.
His mother said: “Thomas knows he’s definitely going – he knows he is going to get his crazy legs fixed, but he does not know exactly what is going to happen.
“We are just hoping this time next year he will be running about just like all the other boys and girls.”
Miss Bussey, who will accompany Thomas to St Louis along with her daughter, Eve, and stepfather John Nelson, initially estimated the operation and rehabilitation would cost £48,000.
She now believes it will cost £55,000, but has decided to go ahead with the operation while fundraising continues.
She said: “The date was perfect. It meant Thomas not having to go through another winter of pain or take more time off school.”
When Thomas, a pupil at St Joseph’s RC Primary School, in Ushaw Moor, returns home, he will need six physiotherapy sessions a week. The NHS will only pay for three.
The fundraising campaign was boosted by a boxing night at Rainton Meadows Arena, near Durham City, last Friday by the Olympian Gym, in Sunderland, which raised £15,500.
Miss Bussey said: “The lads were amazing. We are so thankful for every single person that has helped us, but we still need that extra money.”
To donate, visit justgiving.com/help-thomas-reach-themoon-and-stars or call 07518-333514.