AN INSPIRATIONAL young Hucknall boy who has fought a rare combination of illnesses with a smile on his face is at the centre of a charity appeal that will change his life.
Wheelchair-bound Myles Sketchley (12) has endured more than 20 major operations.
He suffers from cerebral palsy, the spinal condition scoliosis, a brain disorder and severe orthopaedic problems.
Myles first went under the knife at just nine months old when he had metal rods inserted into his spine.
He is the youngest child on record in the entire world to have had the operation, which lasted 14 hours.
Two years ago, his parents, Christine and David, were faced with the nightmare decision of giving the go-ahead for surgeons to remove BOTH of Myles’s hips so he could sit more comfortably in his wheelchair.
Now the family have made a heartfelt appeal for help to raise a total of almost £10,000 in aid of the brave youngster.
The money is for a summer house and hydro-pool hot tub at their home on Annesley Road that will allow Myles to get much-needed exercise.
The only way he can straighten his body is when he is in water — a form of treatment called hydrotherapy.
Already the appeal has collected £7,100 through various fundraisers and donations.
But now a final push is needed — with the support of Hucknall residents and businesses — to meet the final target.
Christine (48), who is Myles’s full-time carer, said: “This would be life-changing for him and the family. Hydrotherapy is the only way Myles can exercise.
“Without it, he would stay in his wheelchair and would put on weight. This would then put pressure on his heart, on top of everything else he contends with.”
Paying tribute to her son, Christine said: “Myles nearly died when he had his first operation. He had to spend three months in intensive care.
“At five, he had outgrown the pins in his spine and had to have another 15-hour surgery.
“But he never moans. He is such a happy boy. Even his spinal consultant wants to show him off as an example of how to face your problems.”
Christine, who also has an 18-year-old daughter, Lauren, added: “I will do anything for him until I have no breath left in my body. I will do everything in my power to help Myles.
“It is never ending but it is rewarding. All you need is to see a smile on Myles’s face and everything we do is worth it. Myles is brilliant.”
Because of funding cutbacks, Myles’s school, Fountaindale in Mansfield, can only take him swimming once a fortnight. He needs two carers in the water to support him.
The world leaders in hot tubs, Jacuzzi, have already offered the Sketchley family a £12,000 hot tub at half-price and pledged to give them accessories for free.
The summer house has been bought and is waiting for the hot tub.
A charity, The Men Of Sherwood Society, is planning to stage a race night at the Royal British Legion Social Club on Beardall Street, Hucknall on Friday January 13.
Tickets are available by calling Christine on 0115 9632401. Businesses who would like to donate towards the hot-tub appeal, sponsor a race on the race night or donate a raffle prize for the fundraiser are also asked to ring Christine.