£30,000 gift will help pay for boy’s surgery

This Is Wiltshire: Luca Railton Luca Railton

A WHOPPING £30,000 donation has put the family of ten-year-old Luca Railton closer to raising the funds necessary for him to receive life-changing surgery and avoid amputation.

His mother Teresa was given the sum by Imagine Cruising, pushing the fundraising total to £50,000 and placing the schoolboy in good stead to collect the £135,000 required for the costly operation.

The donor company has offices at Lydiard Fields Business Park, Swindon.

The Prior Park School, Cricklade, pupil was born with no bone in his right knee, no right tibia and only a partial left tibia due to a rare condition called bilateral tibial hemimelia, which affects one in a million people.

He is due to undergo surgery in Florida on March 27 but before he can fly to the United States the issue of funding must be resolved quickly.

Teresa, 42, who works in Old Town as an IT manager for Zeal Solutions Ltd, said: “The donation is absolutely amazing. “I was so overwhelmed by it all. It was so generous of them and so kind. “Robin Deller, the owner of the company, has known Luca since he was four, as Luca has been in his daughter’s class since reception and he wanted to do something for him.

“We are hoping to reach £135,000. The surgery will allow Luca to be able to walk with his own legs, callipers free, and give him a chance.

“We have been exploring every avenue, like remortgaging our house. This is our fallback. “We’ve just got to do whatever it takes to get these funds by March. “People have been absolutely amazing and if we keep pushing we can get there.”

Luca has had more than 60 hours of surgery to help him walk with the aid of leg supports.

In February last year, doctors in Oxford told the Railtons there was nothing more they could do for Luca and that they would have to amputate or fuse his right leg straight.

But American surgeon Dr Dror Paley, who has treated more than 200 patients with this condition, assured his parents he could treat their son and help him walk without callipers.

This is the family’s second bid to save Luca from amputation.

In 2005, a German surgeon flew to England and performed 10 hours of duthrty on the toddler at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to put metal frames on his legs.

After nine months, the frames were removed and Luca took his first steps with the help of callipers and a walking frame.

The latest surgery will take place in stages over six months. Doctors will operate on his ankles and left knee, and his right leg will be lengthened and fused in a way that will still allow him to run around.

“Luca is apprehensive because he knows that it will be a painful operation,” added Teresa.

“It will be hard for him and for us. We know he is in good hands. We went to Florida in October and met two people who have gone through it. It was all very positive.”

People are welcome to donate towards Luca’s operation by visiting www.facebook.com/lucarailton.

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