BORN into a life of pain, little Thomas Brennan’s only hope lies in a hospital thousands of miles from home.
The brave four-year-old suffers from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, leaving him in constant pain and unable to walk properly.
Now his family are aiming to raise £48,000 to fund a life-changing operation in St Louis, Missouri.
Mum Jodie, 29, said: “Thomas relies on a wheelchair 90 per cent of the time.
“He’s a very independent and determined little boy and tries to force himself to walk.
“But it isn’t very long before he falls over and hurts himself.
“He suffers from a lot of pain, and at the moment he’s having three days off school a week because of it – it’s always worse in the cold weather.
“He’s four years old now and he’s noticing he’s different from his friends at school.”
Thomas, who lives with his mum and sister Eve, six, needs an operation called Selleck Dorsal Rhizotomy, which will involves cutting into his spine and severing the nerves which are causing his problems.
But the operation is not available in the UK – and won’t be until Thomas is too old to benefit from the procedure.
“It needs to be done before the age of six,” said Jodie.
“The operation will be available in the UK, but not until it’s too late for Thomas.”
The family, of Houghton, are now working hard to raise the money needed to take the four-year-old to America for the operation.
They have so far raised £5,000 and are continuing with a number of fund-raising activities.
Dad Sean, 32, an electrician, is separated from Jodie, but lives close to his children.
Thomas was born at 31-weeks by emergency Caesarean section, suffering complications and lack of oxygen.
Sean and Jodie were told after five weeks they could take Thomas home – but after six months it became clear his traumatic birth had caused long-term problems.
After a year of hospital and doctors visits, medics diagnosed him with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy.
•To learn more about Thomas, his family’s fund-raising or to donate to the cause, Click here, or call Jodie on 0751 833 3514.