Ascot youngster Zakk is set for US trip to meet surgeon
Published: 5 Oct 2013 12:300 comments
Zakk Burks, from South Ascot, will visit St Louis Hospital, Missouri, to see a surgeon for a pre-examination ahead of his operation in July next year.
The Ascot Lawyers Foundation stumped up half the £2,000 cost of the three-night trip to ease the financial burden on the family.
At present Zakk is unable to walk, but if the operation and subsequent physiotherapy are successful he could eventually be able to do so with the aid
His family launched a £60,000 appeal back in August to raise funds for Zakk’s treatment, with about £5,000 raised so far. Hospital fees and the cost of the family’s stay in America while he is being treated will make up £40,000 of the total, while the remaining £20,000 will pay for his long-term physiotherapy and equipment back home.
Melanie Burks, Zakk’s mum, said: “It makes everything seem a bit more real now, but we are happy to be taking the first step towards the surgery.It definitely feels closer to the operation.
“I want to make sure Zakk achieves this dream before I go on to chase my own.”
Zakk was diagnosed with severe quad spastic cerebal palsy (affecting all four limbs) at six months old and his condition causes him a lot
His muscles are very tight, preventing him from walking, and often go into spasm.
The surgery, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, involves removing dead nerves to free up muscles and help movement. To help reach the sum quicker a Facebook page has been set up, called Zakk’s First Step. A launch date for the new fundraising initiative is October 25, starting with a dinner at Bluebell’s restaurant in Sunningdale.
The following day will see people getting merry for a good cause with a sponsored pub crawl to raise further cash.
“Hopefully the launch of the new charity page will help people fully realise what we are trying to do. As long as Zakk and my two daughters are happy and healthy then I am too,” said Mrs Burks.
The launch dinner is £50 each and will include a champagne reception and a three course dinner, starting at 7.30pm.
For details on Zakk’s appeal and to donate money, see www.justgiving.com/zakkyboy
To visit the Zakk’s First Step Facebook page for future fundraising events see www.facebook.com/SDR4ZAKK