THE parents of an Old Trafford boy who dreams of playing football with his pals are appealing for funding to help him achieve his goal.
Haris Nadeem, eight, has cerebral palsy and needs a £23,000 operation his parents believe will improve his walking and his balance.
Sahira, Haris’s mum said: “ He’d love to play football and it breaks my heart when he comes home and he says ‘Mum, I wish I could run and play with the other children’.”
The procedure is known as a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and Sahira, Haris’s mum, said he needs the operation now or he could be forced to use a wheelchair for the rest of his life.
She said: “He’s just a normal eight year old who loves to have fun and be with his friends. He’s a very bright boy and everything else is fine.
“It’s just his walking ability. He absolutely loves football and he goes to a mainstream football club on a Saturday morning. The only thing he can do is watch.
“He tries to run behind the children who are playing but he can’t go near them because of fear of falling.”
Sahira said the family have launched a campaign to fund the operation. She added doctors in Leeds have agreed Haris, who attends King’s Road Primary School, would benefit from SDR, a treatment pioneered in the United States.
But health chiefs have so far refused funding for the surgery.
A spokesman for NHS England (Manchester) said:: "We sympathise with the family who feel they may benefit from this treatment. However selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is not routinely funded by the NHS as the current evidence base does not yet demonstrate sufficient clinical and cost effectiveness for its routine use.
"However, it has been identified by clinicians and patient representatives as showing significant ‘promise’ as a potential treatment option for the future and forms part of the Commissioning through Evaluation programme.”
Sahira said the decision by health chiefs has left her feeling ‘very, very frustrated.’ Sahira, 44, is married to Shaikh Mohammad, 47, and the couple, whose family home is on Ayres Road, have two daughters, Wajeeha, Thubasia.
* Anyone interested in supporting the fundraising campaign should visit www.justgiving.com/tree-of-hope-helphariswalk