A Hartlepool schoolboy is overjoyed after kind-hearted staff at McDonald’s raised cash to go towards the cost of his pioneering surgery.
Little Alfie Smith was born with cerebral palsy affecting the movement in his arms and legs.
But thanks to generous staff and customers at the chain’s three Hartlepool branches who raised £1,182, he is now closer to having enough funds for a life-changing operation.
The surgery, called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), would increase the spasticity in his muscles and could mean that one day he will be able to walk.
But the treatment - which would be carried out at Leeds General Infirmary - comes at a cost of £50,000 which must be raised before his condition deteriorates.
Mum Annie Scalley, 29, said she was overwhelmed by the support. “All three of the McDonald’s in Hartlepool set up stalls where they held tombolas and raffles to raise funds,” she said.
“We are really pleased with the total and are overwhelmed by all of the support, it has been incredible.
“I used to work in McDonald’s and the staff there were all aware that Alfie was born early and that he had cerebral palsy, so they just wanted to help.”
Every day is a struggle for the nine-year-old, as his condition prevents him from doing simple tasks like brushing his teeth and getting himself ready.
It also leaves him in severe pain and unable to walk due to the lack of spasticity in his legs.
Three times a day he undergoes intense physiotherapy and twice a year has botulinum injections to make it easier for his exercises to be carried out.
Despite this the brave youngster remains positive and even came along to the fundraiser himself on December 17, where he took part in activities such as selling cakes to raise the vital cash.
Beverley Williamson, operations consultant at McDonald’s said she as delighted to have raised so much for Alfie.
She said: “Annie used to work with me at McDonald’s and Alfie used to go to the same primary school as my daughter, so we knew about his condition and just wanted to help. “We are really pleased with the amount and plan to continue with fundraising.”
Anyone who would like to fundraise or make a donation can email Helpalfiewalk@hotmail.com or visit Help Alfie Walk For The First Time on Facebook.