A CHARITY drive to raise enough money to buy life-changing equipment for a Hucknall youngster battling a rare combination of illnesses has hit its target.
The initiative in aid of 12-year-old Myles Sketchley (pictured), of Annesley Road, was backed by the Dispatch and inspired support from the whole town.
Myles is wheelchair-bound, has a brain disorder, orthopaedic problems, cerebral palsy and the spinal condition, scoliosis. The only way he can exercise is in water.
His parents, Christine and David, launched an appeal to raise more than £10,000 to buy a summer house and a specialist hydrotherapy hot-tub.
Now the target has been smashed. The hot tub has been installed and Myles is using it — despite a deterioration in his health that saw him spend three weeks in a high-dependency unit at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
Mum Christine (48) said: “It has been tough recently, and Myles has been really ill. He is having to wear a ventilator day and night to help him breathe and we are having to take each day as it comes.
“But you have to be optimistic and Myles is keeping his spirits up. He is able to use the hot tub, which certainly helps with his breathing.
“We have been overwhelmed by the amount of support the appeal received and how generous people were. We couldn’t have bought the hot tub without it.
“Our thanks go to everyone, especially the Dispatch for its backing in publicising the fundraising events that paid for the equipment.”
In total, more than £11,000 was raised for the Myles appeal.
A race night at the Royal British Legion social club on Beardall Street in Hucknall was arranged by the charity, The Men Of Sherwood. This made more than £2,000, to which the organisation added a further £1,300 from its own coffers.
The Kevfest rock-music gig at the John Godber Centre in Hucknall, in memory of a Hucknall man who took his own life after suffering from depression, added a further £1,000 to the cause to pay for a specialist hoist to help Myles into the hot tub.
Backing also came from the likes of the Strong Bones charity, the British Telecom benevolent fund, Tender Loving Care, which is attached to the freemasons, and the grant-making charity, the ACT Foundation.
It is now hoped the hot tub can help Myles bounce back from his latest health problems.