Life-changing surgery could see little Alex take his first steps

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The parents of a little boy who has a form of cerebral palsy have been told he can have life-changing surgery, which could help him to walk independently for the first time.

Alex Craven, of Glass Houghton, was born eight weeks premature and diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy at just nine months old.

The condition means he cannot straighten his legs or place his feet flat on the floor.

His parents Sarah and Jonathan put Alex forward for selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery in America, which could enable him to live free of pain.

As they waited to hear the outcome of his application, Alex’s friends and family set about raising the £60,000 costs associated with the procedure.

And last week they got confirmation he had been accepted for the operation in St Louis in July next year.

Mrs Craven said: “We are really relieved that he has been accepted. We don’t know what we would have done if not.

“It is finally starting to sink in now that it is going to actually happen.

“It’s all systems go to try to raise the rest of the money we need to get him there now.”

Alex, four, has to crawl or use a supportive walker to get around and cannot even stand up on his own.

But the surgery could help him to walk for the first time.

Mrs Craven said: “The surgery will basically straighten Alex’s legs so that we can hopefully then build his strength up and get his legs working.

“We hope he will be able to stand up on his own and even walk. It gives us so much excitement for the future.”

Members of the community have backed the Craven family in their fundraising bid. And so far, more than £10,000 has been raised for the Alex Craven Fund.

In the last few weeks, a group of supporters trekked 28 miles from Leeds to Castleford and members of the Formula Fitness gym in Knottingley took part in a Gung Ho obstacle course to help Alex’s cause.

Walkers also completed the gruelling challenge of hiking 1,345m up Ben Nevis in Scotland.

Mrs Craven said: “We have just over a year to raise the rest of the funds and we are determined to get there. We have to find the money.

“The local support we have had so far from friends, family and generally from members of the public has been amazing. Everyone has got on board and we really are thankful.”

To donate, visit the Alex Craven Fund Facebook page.