This past weekend I was excited to go and visit my pal Alfie, who after a long wait, has had his life-changing operation to help him walk again. I’m so proud to say that after agreeing to match pound for pound the family’s own fundraising, I donated £16k to help pay for Alfie’s surgery.
The operation was a success and Alfie is recovering well. At the moment Alfie’s body is extremely weak and he was bed bound for the first few days of his recovery, but when I went to visit him he looked well and he was excited about his first physio session. Although he has been in a lot of pain, today he was released from hospital.
When I met Alfie and his Mum nearly 5 months ago now, she told me she was crowdfunding to raise a total of £50,000 to help Alfie, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 16 months old, to walk unaided for the first time. All her hopes were pinned on a pioneering operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) which is proven to help children walk again. But Alfie had to have the operation before June 2017 or his condition will have degenerated too far.
I knew straight away that I wanted to do everything I could to help Alfie reach his JustGiving target so I decided to match any funds raised on Alfie’s JustGiving page by Christmas.
Now Alfie has had the operation and he can’t wait to use feel his new legs. It’s crazy that last year I didn’t even know Alfie or his family at all. It just goes to show, going up to a complete stranger and giving them a minute of your time can really lead to amazing things and change people’s lives.
It hasn’t been an easy journey for Alfie and his family but they have managed to stay positive and so grateful for all the support they have received. The journey for Alfie is still ongoing and his recovery will be a long journey, but I am very proud of Alfie. He’s been so brave and it’s been a pleasure to be part of his story.
When I met Alfie’s mum last year, I had no idea how it would actually feel to help and support a family who really needed help, but it really has been so exciting to be part of something which will help to make such a difference to a little boy’s life.