‘Help me find my feet’ – £50,000 fundraising campaign launched to get Archie walking

Harley (left) with his parents and Archie.
Harley (left) with his parents and Archie.

A pioneering operation abroad could change the life of a record-breaking Hartlepool ‘miracle twin’.

Born 17 weeks early, little fighters Archie and Harley Garthwaite were the most premature sets of twins in the country to survive when they were born in June 2012 weighing less than 2lb each.

Archie who weighed just 1lb 4oz and Harley at 1lb 6oz, clung to life despite both having holes in their tiny hearts.

Archie underwent gruelling open heart surgery at just two weeks old, with Harley following two weeks later.

The pair have made an amazing recovery but Archie has been left with cerebral palsy.

The pair made parents Hayley Kennedy, 23, and Billy Garthwaite, 24, proud when they started nursery at Grange Primary school this month.

Now the family from Irvine Road, Hartlepool, are continuing to strive for the best for the twins and have launched a campaign called Please Help Me Find My Feet to raise £50,000 for an Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation for Archie which could help him walk independently.

“Archie has had physio for two and half years, but he is not going to be able to walk,” mum Hayley, said.

“Harley is really good with Archie - he says ‘Archie can’t chase me because he’s got poorly legs.’

“We’re looking to have an operation for him in Seattle in America to get Archie up on his legs and get him to walk.”

Fundraising for the tot will kick off in the coming weeks, with Lifestyle Fitness gym at Jackson’s Landing in the town backing the appeal by holding a fundraising day October 17.

“I go to that gym myself and so does my sister in law Charlote Garthwaite,” she said.

“She got this going for us as she is a client of personal trainer Nathan Renwick who heard about the operation and decided to get the gym involved to help,” Miss Kennedy said.

“It’s absolutely fantastic and we’re so grateful to all the staff and to Charlotte.

“She has been my rock and she has really pushed for Archie to get this operation. I’d also like to thank my mum, my family and Billy’s family, without their help we wouldn’t be where we are now.”

Archie is now on the waiting list for the operation abroad and is also waiting to hear whether the NHS will be able to provide it for him in the UK first.

But the clock is ticking as the operation is most effective in children aged between three and five.

“His physio really does work him but she wants the best for him and said that’s all she can do.

“It’s heartbreaking. I’m waiting for the day he asks what he can’t do things his brother can do.

“If we could give him our legs we would.

Harley and Archie.

Harley and Archie.

“Were now waiting to hear back. It’s a waiting game.”

Hayley has set up a Go Fund Me Page and people can boost the cause by logging onto: https://funds.gofundme.com/dashboard/wu4d947c/share?start=