A family is fundraising for their two-year-old son to have a life-changing operation.
Leo Leyland, described as a very ‘happy little boy’ was born ten weeks premature.
But after a CT scan revealed a haemorrhage had damaged his brain, his family got to the prognosis that Leo had a condition called Hemiplegia – a form of cerebral palsy – on his left side.
Tarnia Baysting and Stefan Leyland, Leo’s mother and father said: “Because of his Hemiplegia he has high muscle tone in his leg and arm and that results in a form of toe poking and closed fist.
“There is a life-changing new pioneering operation that Leo can have called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).
“Unfortunately, the NHS will not fund this and we will have go private.”
Stefan added: “Without this he is going to find it really difficult to be mobile for the rest of his life and I am not going to let that happen.
“There will be thousands of people in our position but the difference is I am his dad and need to do something about it for our son’s life.
“Children just like Leo that have had this surgery go on to live normal independent lives.”
The family, who live in Piltdown Close, Hastings, need to raise £70,000 for Leo to have the operation and physiotherapy in the USA. To raise money, Stefan will be attempting to complete The Great outdoors Challenge (TGO) with father, his brother and brother-in-law.
In May, the group will be walking from the west coast of Scotland to the east coast over the Munro mountains, covering 225 miles in 13 days while carrying a full backpack, food and tent.
Stefan added: “My dad is 70 and this will be his last one so I feel this is our only chance to do this for my son and his grandchild. This isn’t for the faint hearted – the Scottish highlands have some of the most challenging terrain, mountains and weather in Europe.”
The family has already managed to raise £2,000, with the help of ‘complete strangers’.
Friends of the family also ran this year’s Hastings Half Marathon to raise money for their cause.
Leo can only have the operation when he turns five years old due to the risks involved.
After the operation he is required to have intensive physiotherapy for about a year to strengthen his leg and affected left side.
Stefan said Leo, who manages to move around by crawling, is intellectually like any other child. However, his progress particularly in speech and language has been delayed as a result of being premature.
Vist Help Leo to walk to find out more or support the family.
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