A Tarbolton mum is trying to raise £80,000 to fund life changing surgery for her six-year-old son.

Karen Wylie’s son Saul suffers from Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy, which causes muscle stiffness in his legs and arms, meaning he cannot stand or walk unaided.

The family are fundraising so they can travel the 4,000 miles to Missouri for a spinal operation which would dramatically reduce Sauls’ spasticity and allow him to stand independently and potentially walk.

As a possible candidate for St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Karen hopes to take Saul to see Dr TS Park who is the pioneering surgeon for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) life changing surgery.

Karen said: “Our objective is to get Saul to the best possible stage to allow us to apply to St Louis Children’s Hospital for him to be evaluated for this life changing surgery. This will involve intense physiotherapy blocks, the purchase of specialised equipment and working closely with various professional therapists to get him strong enough.

“This will take some time but no dream will ever be too big for our boy, it might just take a little longer to get there.”

Saul was born with twin brother Clay premature. Clay weighed 3lbs and Saul just 1lb. Clay was treated at Crosshouse Hospital for three months to allow his lungs to develop and learn to feed and has now made a full recovery.

However, Saul was keptin Yorkhill Hospital for six months and spent most of his first year in hospital as he was so fragile. At 18-months-old, he was diagnosed with Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy.

When Karen was pregnant with the twins, she and her husband Stuart were given the devastating news that that Clay had a better chance of survival if Saul were to be terminated, something that was never option for them.

Karen, who gave up work to care for Saul full-time, said: “We were told on several occasions that Saul was too tiny to survive but he continues to defy the experts and he is our little fighter.”

Karen is taking part in the Great Scottish Run 10k with a group of 25 friends and her 66-year-old mum in order to raise the £80,000 needed to take Saul to America.

Karen said: “I am not a runner but have been training three times a week for the event and now manage to run 4.5miles. My mum has never done anything like this before so is extremely nervous but very determined to complete the race for her grandson.

“Our fundraising total is set at £80,000 to cover my son’s surgery, specialised equipment, intense physio and a two-year rehabilitation programme. We have been campaigning for 18 weeks and have raised an incredible £41,000 so far.

“We have been overwhelmed by the kindness of friends and family who are willing to help raise funds for Saul’s journey, their generosity is very much appreciated, and our family are exceedingly grateful to everyone who’s helped us on this journey.

“We were extremely proud when Saul started school with his twin Clay and older brother Mylo, eight, this year.

“He attends Tarbolt on Primary School and has several classroom assistants who support him.”

The Great Scottish Run is on Saturday, September 29. To sponsor Karen visit https://www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/just4children/stepsforsaul?utm_id=38