A battling youngster who has defied the odds is gearing up for his biggest fight yet - raising £70,000 for a life-changing operation to help him walk.
Brave William Moreland, who has fought a string of battles to stay alive right from his conception, desperately needs the cash to fund treatment in the USA which will help him take his first steps.
And his mum Michelle is spearheading the fight for her son to help him realise his dream.
She said: “For him even to be here is remarkable. He has fought every moment of his life. The only real chance he has of being able to walk is this operation. It would transform his life.”
The youngster suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy which means he cannot walk, cannot care for himself and has to use a wheelchair with an operation known as Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy his gateway to helping him walk.
He has already overcome a number of life-threatening hurdles just to reach where he is today, beginning in the womb.
At just five weeks gestation, medics found William was one of fraternal twins but the other baby had not survived and Michelle had to undergo a serious emergency procedure to enable the pregnancy to continue.
But William was born three months prematurely weighing just 2lb 2oz after Michelle collapsed at home with septicaemia and had to be rushed into hospital and her labour induced.
After suffering a brain haemorrhage during delivery, he was in intensive care for three months, undergoing blood transfusions, numerous tests and given medications to keep him alive.
Said Michelle, 43: “William fought against all the odds and has defied all the predictions of not making it, to becoming the bright, loving, chatty little boy that he is today.
“Although his mind is very forward for his age, physically he is trapped in a body which suffers severe spasticity - muscles that contract and tighten,” she said.
Due to William’s birth injury, parts of his brain were damaged affecting his motor skills, which means he depends on his mum for all his care needs.
Said Michelle, of Newbolt Road, Balby: “The frustration this causes William is heart breaking to witness for all he wants is to be like any other youngster.
“The suffering he goes through despite constant physio, exercises and stretches to keep him as mobile and supple as possible is a losing battle because the spasticity does not go away completely and this will only increase the more he grows.
“His desire to move independently and to walk and to play like the other boys and girls at his school his age never goes away for William. His mind is growing at a faster rate than his body is capable of doing. This does not stop William still trying and he works very hard to try and walk with a walking frame taking a few steps, but his legs he says hurt him too much and cross over when he tries to walk making it impossible.”
But the Balby Central Primary schoolboy has been accepted as a suitable candidate the life changing operation in St Louis, Missouri, allowing him to realise his dream of moving freely and walking without pain.
The surgery is not available on the NHS which means Michelle, who has two older daughters, is now organising a huge fundraising drive to bring in the cash William desperately needs.
She said: “William’s fight is not over yet and nor is mine. Without this operation the more his spasticity will worsen with growth and the likelihood is he will spend the rest of his life confined in a wheelchair.”
Michelle, who has also suffered severe health problems and was forced to quit her job as a dental nurse last year through stress, said: “I have been through the mill and am a shadow of the person I was but I am putting all that to one side for William.
“I want to see my boy grow up and marry and have children and have the best in life. With this operation we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.”
A website has been set up where people can donate - visit www.williamswish2walk.weebly.com