A LITTLE girl is set for a life-changing operation after the community of Basingstoke and Deane helped raise an incredible £100,000 in just seven months to pay for the procedure.

As previously reported in The Gazette, Emmy King’s family, from Lychpit, launched Ready Emmy Walk with the hope of raising the funds to pay for the operation in America which will help her walk.

The two-year-old has clearly touched the hearts of thousands of people, who have rallied to raise the funds to help the family.

Emmy was diagnosed with cerebral palsy spastic diplegia last July, but an operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) to help sufferers walk is not available on the NHS in the UK.

Carly King, Emmy’s mum, said she was amazed the funds had been raised so quickly, adding: “I just can’t believe it. I never thought we would raise it all before we went. We thought we would be fundraising when we came back. It has been a whirlwind, we have done it in seven months.

“Originally it was £85k but we increased it to £100k because we found out we weren’t going to get nearly as much NHS physiotherapy as we were hoping for. It’s £100 an hour so that put the figure up a bit. When Brexit happened that added thousands so that was a major blow.”

The family is now preparing for the trip to America, before Emmy has the life-changing surgery on September 27.

She will spend about a month in the USA before returning home on October 22, when she will begin daily physiotherapy.

The toddler will also benefit from a therapy trike bought by Basingstoke Round Table.

Carly said: “It’s so nerve wracking. It’s really exciting but terrifying as well.”

The 31-year-old thanked the community for their support, adding: “The town has really got behind us. With Emmy being a child it always gets people in touch with their heart. I suppose walking is quite a fundamental thing, you take it for granted. I think it’s made people want to get involved thinking a child can’t do that

“The community and our friends and family have been incredible. They have been so generous. We have put ourselves out there and have fundraised everyday. We’ve been to so many events from bag packing to abseiling.”

The mother-of-two said the past seven months had inspired her to continue fundraising for other charities, adding: “I will miss it in a lot of ways – all the amazing people I have got to meet and seeing how kind people are.

“People say community spirit is dead but when something like this happens it proves that wrong because people have rallied around us. They saw we needed help and it’s been incredible.”

Emmy was born eight weeks prematurely after her identical twin sister, Ava, died in the womb of Twin-toTwin Transfusion Syndrome.

The Cerebral Palsy causes her muscle tone to increase in her legs and feet, making them constantly stiff which affects her balance and co-ordination, resulting in simple things such as crawling or even sitting up difficult.

There is no cure for cerebral palsy, but SDR is the only procedure which could permanently reduce or eliminate the spasticity in Emmy’s legs.

To donate visit justgiving.com/readyemmywalk.