Sir George meets the Rabbetts family.
Caroline, Luke and Ben Rabbetts came to Sir George's Advice Bureau to enlist his support in their campaign to get Ben the operation he needs to enable him to walk.
"Ben is two and a half, and was born with congenital bilateral talipes. This means that his feet have turned inwards, and he is unable to walk. He had an operation when he was one, but sadly this was not successful. He now needs three further operations. My view is that these should all be done on the NHS, but it seems that the waiting list for the first is over a year. To do the first one privately would cost some £12,000 - and the family have raised £5000 already. The support from workmates, the community in Andover and the surrounding villages has been tremendous. The earlier the operation is carried out, the better the prospects for Ben."
"I will be trying to get an assurance that, if the family can raise the funds for the first operation privately, that the NHS can then do the rest. If there are any generous benefactors who would like to help with the £7000 still needed, I hope they will consider supporting this cause. Ben is a fantastic kid, full of character, and he deserves a better start in life."
"I was at the New Street Football Club Family Day on Saturday, where they raised over £500."
The following information comes from Ben's website - see link below.
Ben's father Luke has worked for Office Depot for the past 8 years and is currently the Bid Pricing Manager in Andover. Caroline has been with the company for 5 years and works in DMS also located in the Andover office. Ben has already undergone 2 operations since he was born; the first one was to close a hole in his heart using open heart surgery and in the second his feet have been operated on. Unfortunately the last foot operation was not as successful as hoped.
Luke and Caroline have now been told that he will need three more operations over the course of the next four years to try and get his feet as flat as possible. Later this year, he will need to have the first operation, then another one next year leading onto the Ilizarov treatment when he is five or six years old. His legs will be fitted with cages around the outside and pins going through the bones. Hopefully this will enable him to walk after having the cages on for a minimum of 6 months. He will need a wheelchair during the treatment, which will impact on his first years of schooling.
Under The National Health procedures Ben would have to wait up to 2 years for the first operation. If his parents can raise the funds, then the operations will be undertaken as soon as possible. It is to Ben’s benefit that the operations are carried out as early as possible as any delay could have implications on the success of the treatment.
Ben is trying to walk at present; however can only walk on the heel or the top of the foot where the curve is apparent. This is causing more difficulty as the bone is now protruding and will cause further problems if left.