PARENTS fundraising for a life-changing operation for their son say they have have been overwhelmed by generosity after launching a public appeal.

Brian Balmer and Nicci Brassey appeared in the Oxford Mail on Tuesday as they bid for help in paying for a £45,000 procedure plus £30,000 for physiotherapy to help their four-year-old son Thomas Balmer to walk.

Thomas, who lives with his parents and twin brother Dylan in Oxford's Florence Park, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of two and struggles to walk unaided.

It is feared his condition will leave him in a wheelchair by the time he is a teenager, unless he has surgery called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).

Miss Brassey, 43, said they have had a 'touching response' from the community in the past few days, including an anonymous donation of £1,000.

She said: "There have been some very generous donations and kind words of encouragement and hope for Thomas' future.

"There has been one donation of £1,000 from an anonymous donor and more than £500 from other people, who have obviously be touched by his story and want to help us on our journey towards his independence.

"The support means more than you can ever imagine."

Thomas hopes to have the surgery, which is not available on the NHS, at Bristol Children's Hospital and is due for assessment in June to confirm if he is suitable.

The public's help so far has taken the family's overall total so far to almost £30,000, following a year of fundraising efforts from their own family and friends through their charitable organisation Help Thomas 2 Dance.

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