People in a south Bucks village are coming together to raise money for a child with a form of cerebral palsy.

Orla Brash, aged four-and-a-half, from Penn and Tylers Green, was born five weeks premature and, after a complicated birth, had to be resuscitated. She spent 24 hours on ventilators and eight days in the neonatal ward according to mum Sue.

She said: “Waiting for her to take her first breath felt like a lifetime. It was the worst 15 minutes of our life.”

As a result, she developed diplegic cerebral palsy (CP), a form of celebral palsy which causes tense muscles and spasms, particularly in the leg where muscles can get extremely tight and, over time, causes joints to stiffen, reducing movement.

Villagers are holding a three-mile fun run on Sunday (June 19) at the Tylers Green common to raise money for Orla’s Own Steps, the charity set up by her parents to raise £32,000 for an operation that will help Orla to walk unaided, which is not available on the NHS.

Around five years of intense therapy following the surgery will cost a further £55,000.

The community has put together a “contraption” which will allow Orla to take part in the run.

Experts believe diplegic CP is caused when an infant is deprived of oxygen during delivery. Babies born prematurely have a higher risk of developing the condition.

Orla was diagnosed at the age of two after her parents realised her lower limbs seemed stiffer than other babies’. Her paediatrician referred her to a physiotherapist who, after a number of weeks of therapy, deduced she was developing diplegic CP.

Sue said: “Orla is a very determined and strong-willed child. She gets very frustrated when she can’t do things that her friends can but wants to be independent and tries to be as independent as she can.”

The family, who started fundraising last year, have raised £72,000 of their £85,000 target thanks to fundraising events held throughout the village by the community.

The fun run will start at 2:30pm and registrations will be held at the front common by the duck pond at 11am. Anyone aged eight or over can enter.

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