Brave South Yorkshire youngster to be given chance to walk after 'amazing' response to fundraising campaign

Oliver Hitchings.
Oliver Hitchings.
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A brave South Yorkshire youngster will fly out to the US later this year for life-changing surgery following an 'amazing' response to his family's fundraising campaign.

Little Oliver Hitchings was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy just before his first birthday.

The condition affects his balance and co-ordination and he still struggles stand or walk independently.

But after his devoted parents Cheryl Carr and Michael Hitchings launched a fundraising campaign, he will fly out to St Louis in October for a specialist operation, which is not available on the NHS.

Cheryl, 36, of Wickersley, said: "The response has been amazing and we have raised around £82,000 in two years so we have done really well.

"That will be enough for his operation and a little bit of his after care but we still have people who have skydives and half marathons booked to raise money.

"We had one donation of £5,000 and can't thank everybody enough for their support."

Four-year-old Oliver will have selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) treatment, which will involve cutting some of he damaged sensory nerve fibres causing him stiffness.

He will then need physiotherapy every day for at least two years after and the family's dream is that it will eventually enable him to walk.

Cheryl said: "It is not a miracle cure and when we get back the physiotherapy will be just as important as the operation itself.

"They've said he should be able to walk independently in the home so that will give him a bit of independence."

The family will head to the US on October 6 and spend five weeks in the country, while Oli is treated.

For more information on the fund-raising campaign or to donate search Operation Oli on Facebook or visit https://campaign.justgiving.com/charity/just4children/operationoli.

People can also donate by texting OLIS98 followed by the amount they want to donate to 70070.