Earby family raise £45,000 for boy’s life-changing operation in America

Start of the sponsored run in Barnoldswick in aid of Robins Dream.'Photo Ben Parsons
Start of the sponsored run in Barnoldswick in aid of Robins Dream.'Photo Ben Parsons

his biggest birthday wish realised, just in time for him turning six.

For seven months, Robin Carter’s family and friends have pulled out all the stops to get the youngster to America for an operation that will transform his life.

And thanks to the generosity of people across West Craven and beyond, the Carter family have now hit their target of £45,000.

While they push on with fund-raising for the 12 months of intensive physiotherapy that will follow the selective dorsal rhizotomy operation scheduled for May 17th, Robin’s mum Natalie has issued a heartfelt thank you to everyone who has been involved in their campaign which they called RobinSDReams.

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who has helped; not just with the money but in giving us your time and advice, in coming to the events and supporting us. Folk have helped us in so many ways and it is brilliant.”

Robin was diagnosed with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, after he was born eight weeks premature.

The condition means that for the first few years of Robin’s life he has had to undergo painful physiotherapy every day to stretch the muscles in his lower body which constantly tighten.

He has been helped to move around with special boots, leg splints and a walking frame.

In carrying out a selective dorsal rhizotomy, surgeons will cut the nerves in Robin’s spinal cord that are causing the muscles to tighten.

Robin and Natalie will fly to America on May 14th ready for the operation at St Louis Children’s Hospital, Missouri, on May 17th. He will spend almost a month in hospital recovering before returning to Earby on June 13th.

Natalie explained: “He will more or less have to learn how to walk again because he has never been able to use the muscles properly that we all use. They have no strength in them at the moment so he will have to build that up.

“Instead of running he sort of stumbles at the moment and can’t sit down easily so just drops down.”

Natalie said the money raised will change Robin’s life.

“The doctors have said he will be able to run around and play without his walking frame, he won’t have to wear splints, he’ll have a better walking pattern and will be able to do simple things like get into the bath by himself because he’ll be able to put his leg over the side.”

Most importantly, Robin will not face being confined to a wheelchair as an adult.

And the purchase Robin is most excited about is his first pair of shoes. He has never been able to wear normal shoes because of the special boots he wears. He is also looking forward to being able to wear wellington boots for the first time.

Robin’s family, including mum Natalie, dad Martin, brother Vaughn (12) and sister Chloe (10) will continue their fund-raising efforts until the operation and after he has returned.

On Good Friday, Steve Goodall whose son is at school with Vaughn Carter took on a sponsored run from West Craven Sports Centre to Thornton-in-Craven, Earby, Kelbrook and back, raising more than £800 with his efforts.

On May 11th Mario’s Italian restaurant in Gisburn Road, Barnoldswick, will host an evening in aid of RobinSDReams.

The owner has kindly offered to donate all the proceeds of the night, which means people can have a two course meal with coffee for £15 each. There will also be a raffle and entertainment on the night.

For more information on this and other events planned visit http://robinsdreams.weebly.com