A SCHOOLBOY who spent many weeks confined to a wheelchair due to an unusual growth disorder made a splash by swimming a mile at a Worcester pool for Sport Relief.
Rushwick Primary School pupil Jamie Bufton suffers from Perthes syndrome, meaning one of his hip ball joints crumbled and did not fit properly in his pelvis, causing pain when walking.
The eight-year-old was confined to a wheelchair for about seven months, and forced to give up playing football and other sports, but this month took to the water to swim a whole mile, raising £360 for Sport Relief.
Mum Nathalie said it had been Jamie’s idea to take on the challenge at Worcester Citizens’ Swimming Pool in Lower Wick – which took him about an hour and a half across two sessions.
“We were sat at the hospital for an appointment and I told him we were doing a mile walk at work for Sport Relief and he said, ‘I could swim a mile, Mum’,” she said.
“I said it might be a bit much but when we found out it was 83 lengths he said it would be fine.
“When he was being treated he did activities like wheelchair basketball, and when he found out £40 could pay for a session of wheelchair curling for other children he was really keen on doing it.”
Jamie was confined to a wheelchair from the start of 2013 until he underwent an operation to correct the problem – which affects one in 1,000 children in the UK and is four times as common in boys as it is in girls – in July last year.
He has since made good progress, and this July will have another operation to remove the pins and plates in his hip.
Mrs Bufton said she was overwhelmed by the amount of support Jamie and the family had received during his treatment and recovery, and described the amount of money he had raised as “amazing”.
“The physiotherapists said the only thing he’s not allowed to do is bungee jumping, sky-diving and rugby,”
she said. “As his mum I’m pretty happy about that.”
Sport Relief is an annual national fundraising event, run in conjunction with Comic Relief, with the goal of getting the nation active while raising cash for poor and disadvantaged people.
This year’s event starts today and runs until Sunday.
To donate to Jamie visit http://my.sportrelief.com/ sponsor/jamiebufton.