The family of a six-year-old Hemel Hempstead girl are desperately trying to raise £40,000 in four months to pay for a life-changing operation.
Kallie Martindale, from Highfield, has complex health issues, including a rare congenital heart disease and cerebral palsy.
Over the next four months, Kallie will undergo operations on her heart and on her legs to improve her quality of life.
But the final operation, the one that may help her walk for the first time and give her independence, is no longer available for free through the NHS.
So friends and family are saving and fundraising in an effort to raise the money, with the help of specialist children’s charity Tree of Hope.
Tree of Hope has already found an organisation, the Jack O’Donnell Foundation, willing to pledge £10,000 towards the operation if the family can raise the other £30,000.
The procedure, called selective dorsal rhizotomy, involves cutting some of the nerves in Kallie’s back to release the spasticity in her legs. Mum Charlotte believes it could make the difference between Kallie being able to walk or having to use aids for the rest of her life.
Charlotte said: “It’s the best chance Kallie has of ever being able to walk normally but it really needs to be carried out as soon as possible. Her legs have deteriorated over the last couple of years, despite physiotherapy, and it would be heartbreaking if we just left it too late.”