FUNDRAISING efforts to help a little boy walk independently for the first time are going strong.

Donations have poured in since the Journal first reported that three-year-old Thomas Alcock had been accepted for pioneering surgery in America – but needed £40,000 to pay for it.

The Lowton toddler has bilateral spastic diplegia – a form of cerebral palsy – and faces a struggle to keep mobile as painful muscle cramps, contortions and deformities threaten his already restricted ability to get about.

Thomas’ mum Jill Cropley said: “We have had an amazing response. The donations came flooding in and we have got about £7,000 now. There is still a long way to go but there are plans that should help us reach it.”

The surgery will prevent Thomas, who can only walk with the aid of a frame, from developing deformities by snipping the bad nerves in his spine and ease his daily struggle with pain.

It is not available on the NHS but his parents and the American surgeons are confident that Thomas will be able to walk unaided for the first time.

Jill said: “He is a happy three-year-old boy who scoots around on his K Walker and gets into as much mischief as any other toddler.

“One day I would love to watch Tom run around the park and scoot up and down the slide or be able to kick a ball around. He is such a lovely, wonderful little boy who deserves the things that we take for granted.”

Jill and Tom’s dad Kev Alcock hope to send Tom to St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri for the Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy Operation by the middle of 2014.

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