A PLEA has gone out from an Eastrop woman to ensure the life-changing operation her then six-year-old borther underwent does not go to waste.

Levi Beckford, nine, who lives in Reading, was born 13-and-a-half-weeks premature, weighing 2lb 2oz, and was diagnosed with a condition that meant that he would be unable to walk unaided.

Just under a year after Levi was born, his family were told that he had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy spastic diplegia with a quadruple pattern, meaning his leg muscles were very tight and would often spasm, making him unable to walk.

The family managed to raise enough money so that Levi could have aftercare following a specialised treatment called selective dorsal rhizotomy in 2015, to loosen the stiffness of his muscles.

Since then, through courses of physiotherapy, Levi has started to walk, with some help, but now the family is worried that all the progress he has made may soon become undone.

Despite believing they had raised enough for the aftercare, which includes weekly physiotherapy, the family is now running low on funds to meet the scale of the aftercare which has been emerged.

All this means the muscles in Levi’s legs are becoming tight again and essentially making his life-altering operation in vain, in a reaction specific to Levi.

Levi’s sister, Keara Ward, who lives in Eastrop, told The Gazette: “While the operation was a complete success, and we managed to raise around £16.5k in about three months, we are running worryingly low on funds to continue the physiotherapy treatment.

“We’ve been told that his legs are becoming tight again, as the sessions are now only once every two weeks as opposed to the twice a week that he needs.

“If we can’t get this sorted, then it will have made the operation pointless.”

On August 14, 2015, Levi had the operation at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, one of the five centres in the whole country able to perform the procedure, which was a complete success.

To this day, the family continues to try and support Alder Hey every Christmas.

The operation itself involved the cutting of tendons in his legs to relieve the stiffness.

After the operation, Levi went from being completely wheelchair-bound to taking more than 24 steps in a matter of months, and he has since made even further progress.

In order to secure the treatment, Keara helped to raise the money in the first place, but she is now looking for help to keep the aftercare for her brother going.

The 27-year-old added: “It felt like I nearly killed myself, I was doing so much at that time, it was an intense period of time for me.

“We are down to our last few hundred pounds and that may only last us the next few months.

“It is so stressful, we felt like we were doing so well, but now it feels like we are failing, flapping around with big ideas but being unable to help.”

Despite all the uncertainty and concern, Levi himself has been upbeat about the situation.

Keara said: “Throughout the whole process, he has just been all smiles the whole way through and we are all so proud of him at how brave he has been.

“From finding out, to the operation and the aftercare, he has been so brave and fingers crossed, we are hoping to help him again.”

Keara and the family are looking for help in keeping the physiotherapy going, and are appealing to the community to help.

Anyone looking to donate is being sought, and if anyone wants to hold events to aid Levi, then they are also welcome.

For more information about Levi’s progress and the fundraising campaign, there is a Facebook page called ‘Levi’s Wish to Walk’, and the family have a JustGiving page set up at justgiving.com/fundraising/leviswishtowalk.

Anyone who would like to get in contact with Keara to organise an event, sort out sponsorship, or anything else can email knward04@icloud.com.