A FAMILY are fundraising to pay for a life-changing operation to help a three-year-old lad walk.

Mum Tasha Worland has launched the campaign to raise £40,000 to pay for an operation to help her son, Kyle.

The youngster, of East Street, Rochford, suffers from Cerebral Palsy which means he has stiffness in his legs and joints.

Kyle has been accepted to have a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy - a major operation on his spinal cord - at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in America.

The hospital, in Missouri, is one of the best places in the world to undergo the operation.

Tasha, 35, said: "Kyle was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy at 18 months old and he has been having treatment ever since.

“Back in 2013 we were referred to Southend Hospital where Kyle had an MRI scan which showed that Kyle has Hypertonia which is form of Cerebral Palsy where the persons suffers a lot of muscle tightening.

“He has regular physiotherapy and he has had a lot of therapy over the years.

“We have been accepted for the SDR operation at the Children’s Hospital in St Louis, the hospital is known for this procedure so we are thrilled to be accepted for the operation there."

The procedure involves cutting some of the sensory nerves that come from the muscles and enter the spinal cord.

Tasha explains: "The operation will reduce the stiffness in Kyle’s muscles and should help him to move around better which in turn will help to give him more independence and can inevitably help him to walk better.

“The operation will take around four to five hours, which is quite a long time. As well as helping to reduce stiffness the in Kyle’s legs, the surgeons will also be working to make his calve muscles longer.

“This additional procedure will help Kyle to walk with his feet flat on the ground instead of walking in his toes.

“To do this small cuts are made into the muscles and this helps to lengthen the muscles.”

The family are also looking into whether Kyle could have the operation in the UK.

Tasha added: "It was something that we then looked into and we are still trying to find a hospital in the UK so that Kyle can have the operation here in the UK.

“This would mean less travelling and would be a bit of a easier option for us as a family.

“If Kyle has the operation carried out in St Louis, we are looking at him having the operation next February."

The family have raised about £8,000 so far and have set up an online donation page.

For more information, or to donate, go to crowdfunding.justgiving.com/natasha-worland.