A COMMUNITY is rallying together to help pay for a life-changing operation for an eight-year-old boy to be able to walk for the first time.

Little Billy Humphrey has severe mobility problems but has never been diagnosed by the doctors.

Without a diagnosis for Cerebral Palsy, he is unable to get an operation on the NHS that doctors say he needs to be able to walk, run and cycle – like all of his friends at school.

Writing on the Just Giving page, his mum Karen Humphrey, 48, said: “Billy was born in 2013 and for Pete and I, we felt our world was complete.

“When Billy was about three-months old we took him swimming and a friend of ours pointing our a couple of things to us, one was his head was tilted over to one side and the other was his feet were really stiff.

“As we have never had any children before we had not noticed any of these things and we straight away took him to the doctors.

“As the weeks went on and the milestones started to come up we noticed that Billy was not hitting the milestones of sitting up, crawling or walking like our friends children at the same age.

“At about eight-months-old we took him back to the doctor and that was the beginning of downward spiral of fighting to find a diagnosis.”

Bicester Advertiser: Phil Evans, Chairman of Bicester Roundtable presents Billy with a cheque for £2000 on Saturdays fireworks display in Pingle Field. Picture: Duncan Eames PhotographyPhil Evans, Chairman of Bicester Roundtable presents Billy with a cheque for £2000 on Saturdays fireworks display in Pingle Field. Picture: Duncan Eames Photography

At 15 months old Billy’s first MRI scan came back all clear and doctors first thought he just had slower development than other children his age.

He started physio twice a week and had full support as he started nursery to help with his mobility.

He’s also had botox in his legs twice and various drugs to make him walk over the years.

His mum added: “Pete and I have tried several different treatments to help Billy, we have taken to a chiropractor, an osteopath, cognitive therapy but as he gets older we realise we are running out of time as he is of an age now where he wants to be like his friends, he wants to run, jump, skip, ride a bike – all of those things and as his parents we want to get him there.”

The goal is now for Billy to have an operation to reduce the spasticity in his legs.

His mum said: “It's only been in about the last four months that they've [the NHS] actually said that they do feel the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy [the operation] would be beneficial for him.”

“But because he doesn't have a diagnosis, he wouldn't be able to get it on the NHS and that we would need to pay privately for it”.

This means that family will need to pay for the surgery to be done privately, as well as four sessions of physiotherapy a week, fitness sessions and medical equipment.

They estimate the total cost will be £85,000.

To help, Billy’s football team – Bure Park Disability Football Team – have organised a 12-hour football marathon at Whitelands Farm Sports Ground on November 14.

Adam Robinson, 35, said: “Billy joined the team after the lockdown restrictions were lifted and has been a wonderful edition to the team. Billy’s wish is to be able to walk unaided just like his friends and requires and operation, which has to be funded by his parents.

“They have raised £45,000 to date and there is now a big push as he’s got the opportunity to have this operation next year. I have set up this event to get the community together to support Billy and his family achieve his dream and lift the pressure of the financial burden slightly from Billy’s parents – Karen and Pete.”

To visit the JustGiving page or for more information on how to take part in the football marathon visit Justgiving.com/fundraising/billysfootballmatch