A SELBY boy is excited and nervous as he and his family prepare for him to have a life-changing operation.

Noah Banks, six, was born eight weeks prematurely and spent his first four weeks in intensive care. He was later diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and his family were told he may never walk. Tomorrow, he is set to undergo a procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy at Leeds General Infirmary, which should help him to walk without a frame. The £19,300 cost of the operation has come from fundraising by friends, family and groups around the Selby area.

Gordon Banks, Noah’s grandfather, said: “I think he’s excited, but just wants to get it over with.”

Mr Banks said Noah had recently visited Willow Emmison-Neal, who underwent the same operation in America earlier this year, and said that after seeing how well she had progressed, he was much calmer.

“He visited Willow and I think he felt a lot better about going in for the operation once he saw her. He realised what the possibilities were. Willow can use a treadmill. Noah tried to use it but couldn’t manage, but it’s given him something to aim for.”

This will be only the second time the eight-and-a-half hour operation has been carried out at the LGI. The aftercare and physiotherapy Noah will require over the next two years could cost another £20,000, so fundraising is still taking place.

On Saturday, November 24, a special gig will be held at The Riverside, Selby, featuring six bands from Lincolnshire, Sheffield, York, and Leeds, who have all agreed to appear for free, and with all proceeds going to Noah’s Appeal.

Entry costs £2, and more information is available on Noah’s Appeal Facebook page.