Bristol rallies to pay for operation to help Jude Noble walk
YOUNG Jude Noble is set to have life-changing surgery after Bristolians helped raise thousands of pounds to pay for it.
The Kingswood four-year-old is having an operation at Frenchay Hospital later this month to give him the chance to walk independently.
Jude has cerebral palsy, which means the muscles in his legs are very stiff but the selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery should help the youngster to do more of the things that his friends can.
The operation is not routinely funded by the NHS so friends, family and strangers joined forces to arrange events to raise £31,000 to cover the cost of the surgery and the physiotherapy he will need afterwards.
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His family are now £1,800 away from raising the money for a power wheelchair that will help the youngster get around after he has had the operation.
His mother Marie said: "We are a little apprehensive about the operation but we have seen Corin (Potts - a four-year-old boy from Yate) and various others who have had the surgery and seen how they are doing so we are really hopeful that Jude is going to make lots of progress."
Fundraising events have included a fun day, supermarket bag-packing and cake sales. Jude's dad Paul Noble and colleagues at First bus took part in the Bristol Half Marathon and veteran fundraiser Peter Chaplin held a draw in support of the appeal.
Mrs Noble said: "It has been absolutely fantastic - everyone has been so generous and kind and it has been really great knowing that people want to do things for him.
"It has been really overwhelming.
"When we started I thought 'how are we going to raise that much money'?
"We are glad that we have now got to the point where we haven't got much to go.
"We want to thank people for all their hard work and effort for Jude over the last few months."
Mrs Noble said the power wheelchair they want to buy for Jude will enable him to get around at school and outdoors while he is building up his muscles.
She said: "To start off with the surgery will take away the spasticity but the weakness in his muscles will mean Jude is quite floppy and he will not be able to do what he can do at the moment. The wheelchair will help while he is trying to regain his strength but it also goes up and down, so he can sit with his friends at school, and will give him his independence because he likes to do as much as he can for himself.
"The wheelchair will also help long-term because he still won't be able to walk long distance."
To support Jude's final fundraising visit www.anoblecauseforjude.co.uk.