Funding bombshell as Louie faces more surgery
A Colne boy who lost both his legs below the knee after contracting meningitis as a baby is facing further surgery after complications arose.
Louie Jenkins’s upper legs have stopped growing and there is concern that if he does not have major surgery to correct the problem, they will not be able to support his upper body weight as he grows.
The operation would see a frame fitted around his legs for 18 months to stretch his thigh bones.
News of the additional surgery comes at the same time Louie’s mum Julie Green has been hit with the bombshell that a new wetroom extension at their Chatham Street home may cost thousands more than initially thought.
Julie has received a £30,000 Lancashire County Council grant for 75% of the extension which will make Louie’s life easier so that he will no longer have to struggle up the stairs to go the bathroom.
She is currently in the middle of a £10,000 fund-raising drive for the rest of the money, but this week realised she may need to find an additional £2,000 as well as paying a 12.5% commission charge on the grant for the council to carry out the work and VAT on part of the total £42,000.
Julie said: “We found out a couple of weeks ago and if he does not have it done his legs will be out of proportion when he gets older.
“The timescale is 18 months and it is a lengthy procedure. It is not the nicest thing that could be done. I’m nervous about it but it is for the best.
“On the fund-raising, we currently stand at about £8,000. The estimate increase, charges and VAT came as a bit of a shock because I thought it was included.
“It means we are looking at more like double the £8,000 figure. But I may look at getting my own quote from a contractor to see if I can reduce the cost.”
Louie, who is at Barrowford Primary School, has just been fitted with his first pair of running blades, similar to what Paralympic athletes use.
They are lighter and have more bounce and he has been busy this week learning to walk in them and perfect his balance.
Julie added: “It will mean he can do sporting activities and I’m sure I will be running after him now!”