Desperate parents from Peterborough have launched a huge fund-raising campaign to pay for life-changing surgery for their disabled five-year-old son.
Gunthorpe lad Jenson Ford was diagnosed with having a form of cerebral palsy when he was just eight months old, which has left him with little use of his right hand side.
Surgery to correct the problem is difficult to secure in the UK but now his family have been given a ray of hope.
Doctors at a hospital in St Louis, in America, said if the family can travel to the USA they would be prepared to perform the operation.
But the family need to raise £50,000 to fund the surgery and travel and accomodation for five weeks.
Mum, Katie (31), from Ullswater Avenue, Gunthorpe, said while Jenson was happy about the prospect of the operation, he was more excited about the prospective flight.
She said: “The condition is not degenerative, but the effects will get worse as he gets older. He is almost paralysed down his right hand side, and can’t do everyday things that we take for granted, like putting on a pair of socks or cutting food.
“We had to send off various tests, x-rays and MRI scans to St Louis to see if he could get in. Last week we heard from the hospital in St Louis that he had been accepted.
“The surgery would mean he would be able to walk without leg splints or have physiotherapy for the rest of his life. It would make the world of difference to him.
“We have told him what is happening, but he said he was more excited about the flight, as he has never been on a plane before.”
Jenson started at Norwood Primary School in September, and has settled into class well.
Mrs Ford said: “It was a big shock when he was diagnosed. But he is very independent, and very strong willed,
“He tries to do whatever his brother (Cameron, (9)) does and is enjoying school.”
The operation, called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, will see surgeons access sensory nerves in Jenson’s spine, and test them for a level of spasticity. The ones most affected are then cut.
Mrs Ford said Jenson’s whole family are now holding events to try and raise money to send Jenson to America.
She said: “We want to have all the money raised by February, so Jenson can go over there in March. If we go, he will need to be over there for five weeks, so there will be a lot of costs other than just the operation, which is expensive anyway.
“We only heard last week we had been accepted, but have already started planning events.
“The Decoy pub are holding a bonfire night on November 10 in aid of Jenson.
“His brother is holding a Christmas sale at his karate club, and there will be car boot sales and other events that we are planning.
“It is a big task to raise the money, but I am sure we will be able to manage it.”
For more information about Jenson, or to donate visit www.jensonsjourney.co.uk