Help raise £20,000 so Joshua can walk again

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Readers were so touched by our story of a three-year-old boy who could walk again with the help of an operation and therapy costing £20,000 that the Lincolnshire Free Press is launching an appeal to help him.

Joshua Holmes, of Gedney Drove End, has severe cerebral palsy and is soon to have a major operation to relieve stiffness in his legs.

When we called his mum, Aimee, to let her know £15 had been brought into the Free Press office towards the cost she was delighted.

She said: “Every little will help - we are so grateful to the people who have given.”

Joshua hasn’t been feeling too well recently but everything possible is being done to ease his pain.

Aimee said: “He was a very good boy when he had casting done for new splints.

“We also had a review of his wheelchair - the one he has is no longer supporting his deteriorating posture. He’s only had this chair for six months, so it shows how quickly his needs can change.

“Then he’s has a sickness bug and it hits him harder than us. We just want Joshua feeling back to his usual cheery self asap.”

It could be several months before Joshua is strong enough for the operation. Aimee said: “First he has to have a MRI test and a bladder test.

“We are also hoping to build up his strength with intensive physiotherapy and hydrotherapy.

“This is very expensive and not covered by the NHS which is why we need to raise funds.”

However, Aimee said the family is still overwhelmed by the support they received from readers last year to help fund a playhouse for Joshua.

She said: “Without this operation, he faces the possibility of many future operations on his feet, legs and hips.

“Last year, we were very lucky to receive help from your readers, and also Bakkavor, to help fund a playhouse. We are hoping they may be able to help us again.

“We all hate to see Joshua in pain from his spasms and the discomfort that the stiffness in his legs causes.

“It is hoped the operation will not only mean he is free from a lot of pain, but with the right therapy he will be able to use his walking frame, because right now his legs are too stiff to be able to learn to take a step.”

To support the fund, write a cheque to the Lincolnshire Free Press Children’s Fund and send it to our office in Priory House, The Crescent, Spalding, PE11 1AB, in an envelope marked Joshua’s Appeal.

Joshua’s progress can also be followed on Facebook at Joshua’s SDR journey.