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‘Overwhelming’ support for Barnoldswick boy's life-changing operation
3:38pm Thursday 7th February 2013 in News
Nearly £15,000 has been raised for a Barnoldswick toddler who needs a life changing operation.
Two-year-old Oliver Rushton suffers from spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, and is in need of a specialist spinal procedure which could cost £25,000.
Oliver’s parents, Adam and Helen Rushton, of Carr Road, began fundraising efforts in late August and have raised just under £15,000.
“Everybody’s support has been overwhelming,” said Helen.
Oliver, who cannot stand up or walk, experiences constant tightness and stiffness in his legs and gets around by crawling.
He was recently referred to Leeds General Infirmary for an assessment and once that has been carried out, the Rushtons will decide whether or not to let Oliver undergo surgery there or travel to America, where the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy operation was pioneered.
“We’re now very optimistic that Oliver is going to have the operation this year, be it in America or Leeds,” said Helen.
Despite his condition, his mum said that Oliver was an active little boy.
“He’s quite a determined little character and a quick crawler,” said Helen. “Although he can’t walk, he can still get into mischief.”
He started nursery in January and, since June, he has been a member of Pendle Riding for the Disabled.
“He’s their youngest rider,” said Helen. “He loves it and it’s good for his balance.”
Helen said the generosity of friends, family, work colleagues, the local community and even strangers has been absolutely fantastic.
A race night at Rolls-Royce has been the largest fundraiser at £6,000. A rock and roll hair event at Halo salon raised £1,600 and a bake-off at Burnley Hospital, where Helen works, raised £800.
Upcoming events include the Skipton Triathlon, which will feature many regulars from the Greyhound pub competing in support of Oliver, and Skipton Young Farmers have organised an “It’s a Knockout” event in the summer.