Josh one step closer to life changing operation

A nine year-old boy with cerebral palsy is a step closer to getting a life-changing operation.

Josh Walters, who lives with his family in Portishead, was born almost 12 weeks premature.

He has grown up with cerebral palsy and spastic diplegia in his lower body.

Although the inspiring youngster is a Cub Scout and plays for his local youth football team, the condition means the muscles in his lower body are tight, limiting his mobility and putting pressure on his hips, knees and joints.

Without treatment he faces an increased risk of hip dislocations, severe joint problems and arthritis in the future.

It is hoped spinal surgery called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) will eliminate a majority, if not all, of his symptoms and prevent side affects in the future.

The operation is not funded by the NHS and his parents Andrew and Emma have launched a fundraising campaign called Operation Josh to pay for the procedure and immediate rehabilitation.

Mr Walters said: “We have worked tirelessly to launch Operation Josh in the community and through social media together with an intense fundraising schedule with the view to book Josh in for the operation during the summer holidays.

“Josh plays football for Portishead Town Under 9s, goes to the 2nd Portishead Cub Pack and enjoys a busy school life.

“He is an inspiration to us, his friends and the wider community and deserves to have the independence and opportunity to be the best he can be and shape his own future without restricted mobility.”

They have set a target of £26,500 to pay for the operation package and a small portion of the subsequent intense physiotherapy programme, with more than £18,000 already raised.

The family has received a £2,000 donation from Persimmon Homes Severn Valley, as part of the builder’s Community Champions scheme.

Andrew added: “This donation from Persimmon Homes takes us one step closer to our fundraising target.”

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