A THREE-year old boy with cerebral palsy could take his first steps much sooner than expected after his parents received £10,000 towards a pioneering operation on his spine.
Jayden-Vito Mazzotta-Drapper’s family were brought to tears on Saturday when they were presented with a surprise cheque by Swindon holiday firm Imagine Cruising at a pamper day in aid of their little boy.
The generous contribution has now propelled their fundraising total to £19,000, just four months after they launched the Jayden-Vito appeal, in a bid to raise the £35,000 needed to cover the cost of life-changing surgery to allow their son to recover full use of his legs.
Jayden’s mother, Charlene Mazzotta, of Walcot said: “We were invited to Walcot Dome where they had arranged a pampering day with arts and crafts for Jayden. At 11.30am we were told there was a surprise for us and two ladies from Imagine Cruising handed us a cheque for £10,000.
“I was shocked and I just cried; my partner Jason cried. “We have £19,000 now, which is amazing considering we only started raising money in January.
“It was a really lovely thing for Imagine Cruising to do.”
Jayden was diagnosed with spastic diplegia at the age of one, a muscle-stiffness which prevents him from standing on his legs or walking without the support of a frame.
His family have now set out to collect £35,000 towards the operation and the months of physiotherapy.
The surgery, known as selective dorsal rhizotomy, involves cutting nerves in the lower spine responsible for muscle rigidity and lasts up to five hours.
Although daunted at the thought of the painful procedure, seeing its success on other young cerebral palsy sufferers such as Jack Pike from Penhill, who recently underwent the operation and is now able to ride a bike, has given Charlene, 31, confidence in the future.
The mother-of-two said: “I used to feel really nervous about the operation but I speak to Jack Pike’s mum Kylie and I’m more confident now. I know it’s all going to be worth it and I am a bit more optimistic.
“I dream about Jayden being able to walk all the time, although I can’t quite picture him doing it in real life.”
Jo Hannah, HR and payroll co-ordinator at Imagine Cruising, who presented Charlene and partner Jason with the cheque alongside operations director Sarah McAll-ister, said: “It’s something the company feels strongly about and we will continue to help the family to reach their goal.
“He is a happy child and he doesn’t seem to let his condition faze him. The operation is going to change his life.”
To donate towards the operation, visit the Jayden-Vito Appeal Facebook group or www.