Whitchurch star Zac takes step closer to football dream as life-changing op confirmed

Reporter:

Barrie White

A Whitchurch boy with cerebral palsy has just one dream – to kick a football.

Now that dream has moved one step closer for 11-year-old Zac Harris after it was confirmed his family, friends and many supporters have raised enough money for him to undergo selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery, designed to combat muscle stiffness, and help him walk unaided.

He will now go to Bristol for the specialist operation on February 9 with mum Charlene.

She is delighted with the speed at which the money was raised for his surgery and rehabilitation.

“We started in August 2016. It is impressive we have raised the £40,000 we needed as we didn’t do any major fundraising and it’s all been local money raised,” she said.

“We didn’t realise how generous the people of Whitchurch are.

“The community in the town are never to be found wanting when it comes to helping people.”

Charlene added: “Zac’s dream is to kick a football and he still thinks he’s going to do that – it’s driving this. He loves to go to Whitchurch Alport and he’s a massive Shrewsbury Town fan.

“He was gutted to miss the West Ham game in the FA Cup at the weekend but he was at home with his shirt on.

“The operation is just the start of his hard work but Zac knows that and he’s up for it. It’s going to be hard for him to do the physio and it’s going to be hard for us to watch him go through it.

“But we know that it’s going to take two years to see the changes and we know it’s going to be worth it.

“Even though we’ve got the money, it wasn’t until recently they said he could have the operation because he needed to do so much work leading up to it.

“They still could have said no if he wasn’t fit enough.”

Charlene, who lives with husband Mark, daughter Mia and Zac in Queens Road, Whitchurch, wanted to thank all those have given their money, time and support for Zac’s journey.

But it was the Yockings Park club she particularly wanted to thank as they took Zac to their hearts at the start of the process.

She added: “We want to thank Whitchurch Alport so much for all they have done.

“They helped kickstart the fundraising – they have made Zac one of them and he loves them and they love him.

“But we want to thank everyone who has donated or taken the time to raise money for him, such as the Wheatsheaf in Green End or the charity walks – it all helps.”

Email:

barrie.white@nwn.co.uk

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