AN Ashington youngster’s dreams are set to come true this summer.
Archie Anderson’s dream of being able to walk and play just like his friends has taken a giant step forward now a date for a life-changing operation in the US has been confirmed for June.
The cerebral palsy sufferer, a pupil at Ashington’s St Aidan’s First School, is due to undergo a selective dorsal rhizotomy after fundraising efforts by family, friends and complete strangers raised the £50,000 he needed for the life-changing surgery in just four months.
The five-year-old’s mum Marie, her partner Cam and the youngster’s dad Allan are now making arrangements for the trip to the US. She said: “I can’t believe it has happened so quickly. We were not expecting to be able to make this trip so soon.
“It will take an enormous amount of organising, and we know there is a long road ahead, but it is amazing to think we are so close to the dream becoming a reality.”
The operation, at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, on Tuesday, June 19, will increase the muscle tone in Archie’s lower legs.
The youngster, set to turn six in May, will need equipment to help him through an initial recovery period, intensive daily physiotherapy and another trip to America to monitor his progress.
Marie added: “Obviously, we are nervous about the operation, but having seen the results in other children, we are excited at the prospect of seeing Archie being able to move freely and to run and play just like his friends.
“The last six months have been an emotional rollercoaster, with having a baby, constant fundraising and overwhelming gestures of kindness.
“It has been truly amazing, and we will never be able to thank people enough for making this happen.”
Archie’s £50,000 target was reached thanks to a donation by workers at Lynemouth’s Rio Tinto Alcan plant ahead of its imminent shutdown.
Marie plans to keep people posted on Archie’s progress via regular updates on Twitter and Facebook.
n Zumba time – Page 30