Family’s delight as £50,000 appeal to help Hartlepool boy Alfie Smith walk reaches its target

A fundraising effort to pay for a life changing operation for a Hartlepool schoolboy has hit the target within four months.

Nine-year-old Alfie Smith, who has cerebral palsy, has always dreamed of one day walking painfree and unaided.

Alfie Smith with his mum Annie Stalley. Picture by FRANK REID

Alfie Smith with his mum Annie Stalley. Picture by FRANK REID

That dream is set to be a reality after major donation to help him reach his initial £50,000 target.

A donation from the Finley Fund - set up by North Yorkshire mum Julie Cooper - has ensured the youngster is now able to book an appointment to undergo selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), which will be carried out in Leeds.

Mrs Cooper, from Harrogate, set up the Finlay Fund in memory of her own son who died following a choking accident in 2002.

She said: “The other trustees who live in the region had picked up on Alfie’s story and we thought we just needed to help this boy.

I was determined to get the money for my son, like any mother would but it just seemed like such a big mountain to climb. I really can’t believe the money is there now and I can get him on that list.

Annie Stalley

“We knew this child needed this operation so we wanted to get on board as quickly as we could.”

“When I spoke to Alfie’s Aunty Mel she was really excited. As a charity we are fully aware of the difficulties of raising money and the family had done really well to raise more than £30,000 in such a short space of time.”

She added: “We were just so honoured and humbled to be able to help the family and it is such an amazing cause.”

Alfie was born with cerebral palsy which affects his movement in his arms and legs.

Alfie Smith. Picture by FRANK REID

Alfie Smith. Picture by FRANK REID

The condition prevents the youngster from doing every day tasks like brushing his teeth and getting himself ready. It also leaves him in severe pain and unable to walk without help or pain.

The cash will pay for the operation and two years of after care and physiotherapy.

Further case raised will now be put towards his third year of aftercare and any specialist equipment that is needed to assist in him getting on his feet.

His mum Annie Stalley said: “The support we have received has been amazing.

“When we were told Alfie was suitable for the operation we were over the moon, but when we found out the minimum amount we would need before he could be put on the list, it was heartbreaking.

“I was determined to get the money for my son, like any mother would but it just seemed like such a big mountain to climb. I really can’t believe the money is there now and I can get him on that list.

“I can’t thank people enough.”