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Readers help little Ollie Poinsignon's dream of a normal life come true
You've done it!
An Argus campaign to help Oliver Poinsignon jump, run and play like other boys his age has hit the £52,000 mark.
Brighton-based charities Rockinghorse and Albion in the Community yesterday donated the final £1,000 needed to reach the long-awaited target.
Oliver, five, and his parents Julie Langmaid and Jean Marc Poinsignon, visited The Argus offices in Hollingbury, to hear the good news.
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Jean Marc said: “To be honest I didn’t ever think we would reach the target.
“The paper has been responsible for so much and helped us reach so many people and The Argus Appeal has been fantastic.
“It is a huge achievement and I really am glad we are there.
“I am so grateful to everyone who has supported Oliver. It has made a huge difference.”
The paper also received hundreds of pounds for Oliver sent by well-wishers via the paper’s charity, The Argus Appeal.
It means Oliver and his family can now concentrate on Oliver’s long rehabilitation and recovery from pioneering surgery he had last month.
The Argus Appeal made a donation of £5,000 to the fundraising campaign last December and called on individuals and businesses and groups across Sussex to show their support and help the family.
Oliver, who lives with his mother in Ashurst, near Steyning, has cerebral palsy and finds it difficult to move easily because of painful muscles in his legs.
This would have got worse as the youngster grows.
The operation he went through is called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR), and surgeons hope it will help him walk more easily.
SDR is not routinely available on the NHS and, because it is so expensive and still relatively new, it will normally only be given the go-ahead following an application for funding if all other options have been explored.
Oliver had his operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London on February 7 and spent weeks building up his strength before finally being allowed to come home last Friday.
Jean Marc, who lives in Brighton, said Oliver may need another operation in the future to lengthen the tendons in his legs – but the improvement in his mobility so far had been “unbelievable”.
Before leaving hospital Oliver was able to walk 115 steps unaided – to the sixth floor of the hospital.
Editor of The Argus, Michael Beard, said: “The support for Oliver has been incredible.
“Our readers have rallied to the cause as only they can and I would like to thank every single one of them for that. I must say a special thank you to Albion in the Community and Rockinghorse whose generosity was an enormous help and enabled us to reach our target and make little Oliver’s dream come true.
“I thank them and everyone else who has given money.”
Michael Edwards, chief executive of Albion in the Community said: “We are delighted to be able to work with fellow charities like the Argus Appeal and Rockinghorse especially when it comes to supporting such a deserving cause as Oliver and we wish him well for his recovery.”
Analiese Doctrove, Rockinghorse’s head of fundraising said: “On behalf of Rockinghorse Children’s Charity we are delighted to be able to donate £500 along with Albion in the Community who are also donating £500 to raise the final £1,000 needed for Oliver.
“As the official fundraising arm of the Royal Alexandra Children’s Hospital we dedicate our time to helping sick children in Sussex and we are really please to be able to support Oliver’s cause.”
Any donations made towards Oliver’s cause over the target will be donated to charity.
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