It was the news they had so desperately waited to hear – but when the letter dropped on the doorstep at Kai Hodgkinson’s home to say the youngster had finally been accepted for surgery to help him walk, the occasion was tarnished with anguish.
In a cruel twist of fate, just 24 hours earlier, Kai’s big brother Codie had been told he had a tumour growing inside his thigh bone.
The 10-year-old had been suffering with severe pain in his leg. After anti-inflammatory drugs failed to relieve his symptoms, doctors rushed him to A&E for further investigation.
Dad Brian Roberts said: “We can’t believe it.
“We thought Codie had hurt himself playing football, or maybe he’d pulled a muscle.
“He saw two specialists at Blackpool Victoria Hospital. He’d had X-rays and scans and they said they had never seen anything like it in someone Codie’s age.
“We are just waiting to hear now from the hospital because he has to go to Birmingham for further tests and a biopsy. It’s devastating.
“We are just keeping our fingers crossed that it’s benign, but we don’t know anything at this stage.”
Younger brother Kai, who is now five, has cerebral palsy and the Fleetwood community raised £43,000 towards specialist selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery to help him walk unaided.
At first Kai was looking to America for the operation but after a referral to Leeds by his own specialist it looked favourable that he could have the treatment in the UK.
The family, who now live in Poulton have been waiting for months to find out if he has been successful and thankfully he has.
Kai will go to Leeds on March 17 for initial assessments, before the operation eight weeks later.
Brian added: “It is really good news, we are so pleased about it. It looks like I’ll be looking after Kai in Leeds, my wife Caron with be with Codie in Birmingham and the other children with be in Newcastle with family.
“We’ll be all over the country, it’s ripped us apart.”