A schoolboy aiming to raise £50,000 for a life-changing operation was greeted to a surprise visit from the man who has helped him smash the half-way mark.
Matt Haycox travelled from his home in Leeds to see nine-year-old Alfie Smith and to honour his pledge to donate £16,000 to the youngster.
The consultant with Access Commercial Finance had agreed to match-fund his crowd-funding account on Christmas Day.
Thanks to the generosity of family, friends and businesses he was able to hit £16,000 - which has now been doubled to £32,000.
It now means the youngster, who has cerebral palsy, is within touching distance of the £50,000 he needs to enable him to undergo selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).
The money will fund the operation and two years of essential aftercare which will include intensive physiotherapy.
“Thank you for doubling the money. It is so nice, thank you. I’m really excited now.”Alfie Smith
Any money raised over the £50,000 will go towards funding specialist equipment needed to assist Alfie as he learns to walk and support himself to become more independent.
Matt said: “I had no idea when I want to the football match that I would end up meeting Alfie and becoming an integral part in helping him to achieve this life-changing operation.
“It really is so exciting to be part of something which will help to make such a difference to a little boy’s life.”
The entrepreneur spent time with Alfie and his family finding out more about the operation and the youngster that his donation is helping.
The operation is carried out while the child is under general anaesthesia and takes around four to five hours.
It will be carried out at Leeds General Hospital, however, Alfie is in a race against time to raise the cash to fund it, as if his health deteriorates then he will be unable to have it.
Alfie, who struggles with everyday tasks most people take for granted, such as brushing his teeth and getting himself dressed, said: “Thank you for doubling the money. It is so nice, thank you.
“I’m really excited now.”
A number of events have been held in Hartlepool with kind-hearted people determined to help the Throston School pupil achieve his dream to one day walk unaided and pain-free, from sponsored walks, Boxing Day dips and fun days.
To follow Alfie’s progress visit his Facebook page Help Alfie Walk or helpalfiewalk.co.uk
For more information on Matt visit matt-haycox.com/