Abigail sets her sights on USA trip for life-changing operation

Abigail Newton Smith of Bradley Stoke

A fundraising campaign has begun to send a second child from Bradley Stoke to the USA for a life-changing operation.

Abigail Newton Smith, 8, suffers from cerebral palsy, mainly affecting her legs. She currently uses a wheelchair but wishes she could play football and tag with her friends.

Inspired by the story of Toby Cox,who is currently recovering from the same selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) operation at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Abigail’s family and friends have started the Footsteps 4 Abigail campaign to raise the £36,000 cost of the procedure.

Abigail, who weighed just 1lb 3oz when born 14 weeks prematurely, suffered bleeding on the brain and had to remain in hospital for six months.

She now attends Bowsland Green Primary School, where fellow pupils will soon be taking part in a sleepover to raise funds for the campaign. Two of Abigail’s support assistants at the school are also planning to take part in the Bristol Half Marathon to raise money for Abigail’s operation.

Other fundraising events already planned include a sponsored sky dive on Sunday 11th July and a Charity Ball Evening at the Hilton Hotel on Saturday 23rd October.

Also planned for October is a Funny Feet Day, where workers and students at local businesses, shops and schools will be sponsored to wear unusual/outrageous footwear.

Local firms are also being asked to donate prizes for a raffle at the Charity Ball and to help with contributions or sponsorship of the other events.

As for the Help Toby Walk campaign, all monies raised will be spent on the operation, drugs, and outpatient physiotherapy. Abigail’s family, who live in Champs Sur Marne, will be funding flights, accommodation and all living expenses themselves.

Abigail’s mum Carrie told The Journal that the operation has been pencilled in for December.

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