‘We have hope’ Parents daring fundraisers to pay for son’s chest operation
PUBLISHED: 10:37 06 August 2020 | UPDATED: 11:42 06 August 2020
The parents of a teenage boy who needs an operation on his caved-in chest are set to throw themselves out of a plane and run more than 200 miles to fund the procedure.
Oscar Branston-Tilley, from Northrepps, suffers from pectus excavatum, a condition in which a person’s breastbone is sunken into their chest.
The family began fundraising six weeks ago after being told the operation was not funded on the NHS and would cost £16,000.
But, they say they have been given hope after coming across a different surgery which the 13-year-old Cromer Academy pupil can undergo next Easter at a hospital in Middlesbrough at half the cost.
Initially the operation would occur in London and place a bar inside Oscar’s chest, but instead surgeons will rebuild Oscar’s chest.
More: Teenager’s family needs £16,000 to pay for chest operation
So far more than £5,000 of the £8,000 target has been raised, with four fundraisers taking place in the coming months, including his mum Jodie skydiving from a plane and dad David running 226 miles - the distance it will take the family to travel from their north Norfolk home to Teesside for the operation.
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Mr Branston-Tilley will run 200 miles across September, followed by a marathon in Leicester, on October 3.
Mrs Branston-Tilley said: “We said ‘let’s do something really wacky to get people’s attention and raise as much as we can’. He’s only 13, he should be loving the sea and where we live. It’s heartbreaking as he’s a young boy he should be loving life.
For her own fundraiser, the mum-of-four will take part in a tandem sky dive in Beccles on August 26, and has been sponsored by Cromer gift shop Upstairs Downstairs. Friends Sarah Ballard and Sonya Storm have currently raised more than £400 between them as part of a charity headshave.
The family have also raised money through upcycling their furniture and selling slogan t-shirts.
Mrs Branston-Tilley added: “I think we have more hope now. We more or less have a date to do it in the Easter holidays which is not that far in the future. We have reached this amount in six weeks - we are winning. The way we were feeling all those weeks ago we were really going to push it. We’ve just done it our way and we are killing it.”
Oscar’s condition is hereditary and younger brother Blake has shown signs, leaving the family to see what the future holds.
Mrs Branston-Tilley, who is also mum to Flynn and Ellie, said: “We are waiting with Blake and hoping and praying it is nowhere as severe as it is with Oscar. I wouldn’t want them to be going through the same thing at the same time.”
Visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/oscar039s-pectus-excavatum-operation to donate to the Go Fund Me Page.
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