A CAMPAIGN has been launched to help an eight-year-old boy get a special operation which could help him walk and play with his friends.

Oliver Sharman from Hove was born nine weeks premature which left him with cerebral palsy.

Doctors told his parents Lloyd and Yasemin the youngster was unlikely ever to walk properly and independently.

Oliver’s condition causes his muscles to be abnormally tight but he can manage to walk with a special frame.

He can occasionally sometimes move around on tiptoe but the youngster finds this too difficult outside the house so he prefers to use his wheelchair when he is out and about.

Mr Sharman, 53, said: “He has recently grown so much and we have been told he qualifies for an operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).

“The operation will be followed by intensive physiotherapy.”

However the operation, which will be carried out at Great Ormond Street, is not routinely available on the NHS and the family has to come up with the cost of both the surgery and at least two years of physiotherapy.

Mr and Mrs Sharman have now set up a fundraising page to try to find the £47,000 they need.

The treatment will ultimately give Oliver far better mobility and increase his independence as well as making him generally more comfortable.

His leg movements will become easier and the level of control, dexterity, range and speed will increase over time.

There will be a reduction in spasticity in Oliver’s lower limbs and give him a chance of learning how to walk.

Oliver is an inquisitive and cheeky little boy and loves to travel on trains and his parents say his operation could make such a difference for him and his family.

Mr Sharman said: “He would no longer have to sit in his wheelchair and watch his friends run around and enjoy themselves.

“We would also be able to go to the many places that at the moment we can't for various reasons because of his disability. Overall it would release us all.”

Fundraising so far has included a cake sale at Oliver’s school and a sponsored walk is being planned from Eastbourne to Brighton on September 18 to help boost funds.

To make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/oliversharman