An anonymous benefactor has donated 75,000 pound sterlings (US$100,138) to make one 4-year-old’s dream of walking again come true.
Emily Anderson, of Doncaster, England, has cerebral palsy. Her condition has confined her to a wheelchair.
Her family started an online fundraiser to pay for a surgery that would give Emily the chance to walk again. To their shock, an anonymous donor reached out and offered to pay for everything Emily needs.
“I got a call out of the blue on Friday with this absolutely amazing offer,” Emily’s mother, Paula Ratcliffe, told the BBC.
“A local businessman, who wishes to remain anonymous, is offering to completely fund all Emily’s surgery, treatment, rehabilitation and after-care, along with any equipment she needs and, amazingly, he’s even offering to fund a trip to Disneyland.”
The operation (called selective dorsal rhizotomy) is meant to prevent additional spinal deformities. The surgery is a delicate procedure during which surgeons would cut and reposition the spinal nerve, giving Emily the ability to straighten her legs or even move them.
“Emily is a beautiful, bright girl who understands everything and just wants to walk and play normally with her friends,” said Ms. Ratcliffe. “But the operation is massively expensive and rarely, if ever, available on the NHS.”
She stressed that the aftercare is almost more important than the procedure itself; without it, the surgery is not worthwhile. When she received the donor’s offer, Ms. Ratcliffe says she was left “in floods of tears with shock and disbelief.”
“It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever been speechless and I was so emotional,” Ms. Ratcliffe told The Sun. “It was all out of the blue and I didn’t expect it at all. There’s no way I can show how thankful we are to this person.”
She added that the procedure will be absolutely life-changing for Emily.
“This surgery is massive. It’s going to change her life,” the mother added.
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