“I just want him to be happy. That’s all any parent wants isn’t it?”
They are the words of mum-of-two Amy Slaven, who along with her partner Steven Sweeney, hopes to raise £100,000 for life-changing surgery for their two-year-old son Wilson.
Amy and Steven, who live in Holmfield with Wilson and their daughter Ava, want to take Wilson to America so he can undergo surgery at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri.
Wilson has cerebral palsy, which prevents him from being able to sit up, stand or walk.
Amy, 25, is a full-time carer for Wilson, who would need specialist equipment and three years of intensive physio after undergoing surgery, which would cost just under £50,000.
“The surgery cuts the spasticity in his muscles, which cause the tightness,” said Amy.
“His hips will eventually deform, which the surgery will stop.
“He’ll probably always need some help with walking, but without the surgery we’ve been told he won’t walk at all.
“He was born after just 30 weeks, but we don’t know why - some babies just are premature.
“He needed to be ventilated at birth because he didn’t have enough oxygen, and they think that’s what caused the brain damage.
“He was born severely bruised, but they said if they hadn’t brought him out a certain way his spine could have broken.
“We’re lucky in that Wilson can talk and he’s very clever, it’s just the physical side that’s holding him back.”
Amy is taking part in a sky dive in August with a friend, while her partner Steven is running in three marathons, including the Great North Run.
“Mentally, Wilson’s at the same stage as a child his age should be.
“He’s really clever, he’s got a good understanding of things.
“But if Ava gets bored of a toy, she can get up and get another one, whereas Wilson just has to sit there.
“He has to ask what he wants, and he gets frustrated with that.
“He wakes up a lot during the night in pain because he has muscle spasms and stiffness, but the surgery would get rid of that.
“As he grows, if he’s not standing up and walking, he’ll start to deform.
“He’s just started nursery, so when he sees all the children running about, he wants to join in.
“The surgery won’t cure the cerebral palsy but it would make an absolutely massive difference.”
If you would like to fundraise for Wilson or donate, go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/just4children/willingwilson.