Mirfield youngster Sam Bottomley set for life-saving surgery to help him walk again

Family's epic fundraising effort raises £50,000 for operation

Stephen and Karen Bottomley with their son Sam

His wish to walk could be just weeks away.

Sam Bottomley, six, of Mirfield, is set to undergo a life changing operation to overcome the crippling muscle spasms to his legs caused by cerebral palsy.

The Hopton Primary School pupil and his family have been busy raising cash for an operation and the date has now been set.

The Mirfield youngster will go under the knife on September 4 and doctors hope he will be able to walk within weeks of the six hour surgery.

Mum Karen said they were grateful to everyone who had helped them raise an incredible £50,000 over the past year.

“All four of his limbs are affected,” she said. “But it’s the bottom half that’s quite stiff, meaning he walks on his toes.

“The operation will release the spasms so that his muscles can relax and he can put his heels down on the floor.

“His balance will improve as well and we’re hoping he will be able to walk within six to eight weeks of the surgery.”

Doctors at Leeds General Infirmary will enable Sam’s wish to walk by cutting strands of nerves in his spine that are not functioning correctly.

The operation costs £35,000 and was not funded by the NHS at the time the family began their campaign.

The NHS has now said it would pay for the surgery but Karen said they had decided to hand over their hard earned cash anyway so the NHS funds could be saved for another child.

“We’re very hopeful this will work,” said Karen.

“It’s got a good success rate and they’ve done over 20 other operations at Leeds.

“It will be life changing for him.

“He manages to walk about on a frame at the moment, and he can also move if he’s holding hands with someone.

“But fingers crossed he won’t need any of that after this surgery.

“Although we are very nervous about this we are delighted and overwhelmed by the support we have had from the people of Mirfield and cannot thank them enough. We never thought it would happen so soon.

“He’s hopefully going back to school after five weeks and we hope he will be running around the playground with everyone else.”

The family’s most recent fundraising included a head shave for Sam’s dad Stephen and uncle Andrew Bottomley, who had not had short hair for 37 years.

The crop, also taken on by Pyramid hair salon owner Whal and Barry Kitchingman at the Flower Pot pub in Mirfield, raised £700.

A ‘Total Warrior Challenge’ held on August 2 in the Lake District saw Kev Rutherford of Mirfield and his team complete the course with the amount raised yet to be confirmed.

Local farmer Richard Haigh and his family are holding a fundraising “all you can eat” party in a barn at New Hall Farm in Hagg Lane, Mirfield, this Saturday from 8pm ‘til late.

There will be hot beef and pork sandwiches and a raffle.

Tickets are £15 via Sam’s Wish To Walk Facebook page or Richard Haigh.

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