THE family of a four-year-old boy who is unable to walk are aiming to raise £50,000 to let him go to America and change his world.
Little Rhys Griffiths, of Ffordd Offa, Mynydd Isa, near Mold, was born with cerebral palsy. He is unable to walk unaided and needs constant physical assistance.
His mother Natasha Bradley said if the family could raise the funds they would be able to send Rhys to America for a pioneering spinal operation which would offer the youngster a “new life”.
But as well as a brighter future for Rhys, the surgery would also mean independence for his doting older sister Sian, six, who is always by her ill brother’s side and helps take care of him.
Natasha, 26, said it is hard to believe brave Rhys has anything to be sad about as he is always smiling, but added: “He faces more challenges everyday than many would in a lifetime”.
“Since being diagnosed with Quadriplegia Cerebral Palsy, which effects all four of his limbs, Rhys is unable to sit up unaided, endures constant pain and needs daily medication,” she told the Leader.
“It would mean the world to me if we could raise the money and it would mean the world to his big sister Sian, who is six.
“She does everything for him, from helping us give him his medication to taking care of him. She doesn’t have a normal childhood. This would also give Sian independence.”
The family are hoping to raise funds by September 2015, which would enable them to travel St Louisa Children’s Hospital in Missouri – where surgeons could help offer Rhys a chance to walk independently.
Natasha added: “We have spoken to other parents of children who have been through this procedure and the results have been outstanding giving their children a new outlook to life.
“Everyone who knows Rhys loves him.
“His favourite thing is football and he gets so excited when he holds a football, or watches it on television.
“I would love for him one day to be given the chance to kick a football independently.
“He is such a special little boy who is always smiling.”
Natasha and her partner, Trevor Griffiths, 32, have praised North West based charity Stick and Step for its support for their son.
The charity provides free education and support services to children with cerebral palsy and their families and has given Rhys the chance to retrain his brain and learn everyday activities.
The family are planning a number of fundraising events including the Chester Half Marathon, a sponsored walk from Llay to Llangollen, a charity fun day, and a black and white ball. Dates are yet to be confirmed.
More information can be found on family’s appeal Facebook page ‘Roadfor Rhys’ or by visiting www.justgiving. com/Rhysroadtoindependence.
Anyone who would like to donate towards Rhys’ operation can also do so by texting RRTI 99 to 70070 and adding an amount between £1 to £10.
See full story in the Leader