Thousands raised to help brave schoolboy take his first steps

Life changing operation for seven year old as Community Link Foundation completes £21,000 target

A brave schoolboy is learning to walk on his own following an operation after £21,000 was generously raised by family, friends and a local charity.

Jude McHugh, aged seven, from Ainsdale in Southport , has just gone through surgery to help ease the problems caused by cerebral palsy.

The procedure was made possible thanks to a final donation from the Community Link Foundation (CLF), which covers areas including Southport, Formby, Hesketh Bank, Banks, Burscough, Ormskirk and Rufford.

Jude was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 18 months old.

By the age of six, he had mastered crawling, walking in high kneeling and walking with a frame, but he couldn’t walk on his own. His parents Lyndsey and Peter spent a lot of time researching options to help him and they paid for private physiotherapy which meant that Jude had enough strength and movement to be considered for an operation on the nerves at the base of the spine.

In November, Jude’s parents were delighted to hear that he’d been accepted for the operation, however it was not available on the NHS, meaning that the couple had to raise £21,000.

Lyndsey said: “Jude decided that he’d like to do a sponsored trike ride from Ainsdale to Birkdale; the furthest he has ever ridden and we were totally overwhelmed by the huge amount of support he had.

“We relatively quickly made it to £14,000 which was amazing.”

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