Bid for £35,000 selective dorsal rhizotomy operation for nine-year-old Arsenal fan Lewis Munday from St Mary’s Primary School Tetbury, who suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy launched by charity Tree of Hope
A FOOTBALL-MAD youngster from Tetbury who is often confined to a wheelchair is hoping he could receive a life-changing operation.
Nine-year-old Lewis Munday suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which causes stiffness in his legs and means he has to use a walker or a wheelchair to get around.
However, a £35,000 spinal operation could see Lewis – who loves nothing more than kicking a ball around with his friends or his twin brother Jack and has recently taken up wheelchair basketball – able to run around.
Lewis’ mum Louise said the family had been going through the laborious process of being approved for a selective dorsal rhizotomy procedure – which is not available on the NHS but can be carried out privately.
“We’d prefer to have it in the UK but if we have to go to America we will, although that’s going to be a lot more expensive,” she said.
“I know he fits the criteria – I’ve done so much research.
“I just want him to have the best possible outcome.”
The operation sees nerve endings connected to the stiff muscles severed, which allow the St Mary’s Primary School pupil to build them up again himself through exercise.
However, time is running out for the cheerful Arsenal fan, who will no longer be eligible for the operation once he is 11 in July 2014.
Louise said: “He’s got so much willpower and he doesn’t give up easily.
“If he does get upset about not being able to join in he doesn’t show it – he’s so strong.”
Lewis hit headline in the Standard last year when his best friend Alfie Mustoe raised money to help his pal by selling his toys.
Louise said she hoped she could raise awareness of the operation so that it could one day be made available on the NHS.
“There are so many other children out there who need this operation,” she said.
“Hopefully everything will fall into place without having to get on a plane.”
Lewis said he was looking forward to getting to play football with his friends.
A fundraising campaign to raise the money has been launched with children’s charity Tree of Hope and a number of fundraising events are being organised including a balloon launch and car boot sales.
To donate to Lewis visit justgiving.com/lewis-munday1