THE family of a four-year-old boy who need to raise £50,000 for him to have a life-changing operation have been handed a boost in the form of backing by a national charity.

The parents of Rhys Jones, who was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegic Cerebral Palsy when he was 18-months-old, have already raised £10,000 towards the surgery, but say the support from Just4Children could prove crucial.

Mum Laura Watt said: “Rhys has had his first assessment in Bristol and he’s got the go-ahead for the operation.

"£50,000 is a lot of money to raise, but having Just4Children on our side will help when organising fundraising events.

"It means we now have a registered charity number, and you can’t hold some fundraising events without one.

“A lot of people have helped and wanted to help us."

Rhys, from Griffithstown, was born eight weeks premature, weighing just 4lb 11oz, and his condition affects his co-ordination and means he cannot walk without help.

The operation they are raising money for is called  Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery.

It will help Rhys relax the spasticity in the legs, enabling him to walk, but it is not currently funded by NHS Wales.

Funds raised will also for intensive daily physiotherapy, which Rhys will need for at least two years after the operation.

Last year, his father, Steffan Jones, did the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge, with several future fundraising events now planned.

Miss Watts added: “One of Rhys’ teachers, Jodie Moses, from Ysgol Panteg, is doing the Cardiff Half Marathon later this year to raise money for hims.

“We did an afternoon tea at Panteg House in October which raised £400, while Steffan’s brother Geraint Jones also raised more than £500 from doing the Brecon Beacons Trail Marathon.

“We’d like to thank everyone that has help us so far.”

Just4Children provides support for families to help their children with disabilities and sickness.

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