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A festive thank you: Ilford boy a step closer to walking again as NHS backs operation following charity drive

PUBLISHED: 07:36 20 December 2018

Sunni with his aunty. Picture: April Mehmet

Sunni with his aunty. Picture: April Mehmet

Archant

An eight-year-old boy’s dreams of playing sport and “living a normal life” are a step closer to becoming reality after he underwent a five-hour spinal operation to help him walk.

Picture: April MehmetPicture: April Mehmet

Sunni White, of Ilford, was born early and suffered brain damage which gave him cerebral palsy.

His family are thanking residents, businesses owners and members of the community who got behind his cause to help raise money towards a £60,000 selective dorsal rhizotomy operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

“In spite of his disability he is a happy and positive boy who is loved by his community,” said his aunty April Mehmet.

“Sunni’s dream is to be able to live a normal life where he can do simple things like kick a ball and play chase with his cousin without falling down due to his poor balance.

. Picture: April Mehmet. Picture: April Mehmet

“He wishes to be able to jump one day and loves football, boxing and wrestling.”

The family had to raise the large sum in a short amount of time as the operation could only be performed before Sunni turned nine.

Relatives relentlessly tried to raise money through fundraising initiatives and through the support of local businesses but were still tens of thousands of pounds short.

This year the NHS said they would fund the procedure and Sunni was operated on in December.

. Picture: April Mehmet. Picture: April Mehmet

All going well his family confirmed that he should be discharged from hospital and home in time for Christmas Eve.

“He has not moaned once, despite being in pain and we are so proud of him - he is our angel,” she said.

“We have a long road ahead of us and he will need a lot of aftercare and rehabilitation and will effectively have to learn to walk again,”

“All the money raised so far will go to that and we will still need to raise more money to cover everything.

“The community have been brilliant and we wanted to say thank you to everyone who has shared, prayed and raised money for Sunni and help to make his dreams come true.”

To donate to Sunni’s rehabilitation visit: bit.ly/2EBRcxa

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