Jesse Rutland

Market Harborough based Castle Lane Day Nursery and After School Club has just completed a mammoth 24 hours non-stop walk in support of one of its own children, Jesse Rutland, whose family are actively trying to raise more than £10,000 to fund vital medical treatment.

A walk to Peterborough and back!

The event, which took place from 9am Friday 16th November until 9am Saturday 17th November, saw several staff members volunteer their time to walk more than 75 miles on a treadmill in the After School Club – the equivalent of a trip from Market Harborough to Peterborough – and back!

The hardest part was the long, dark and cold night shift, when the team would take it in turns to walk, whilst the others tried to catch some sleep nearby in their sleeping bags. Staff even sent out for pizzas to keep them going – not an easy thing to eat at a brisk walking pace!

Co-Director, Harriet Grey, said “The girls did a brilliant job taking it in turns walking on the treadmill for a whole 24 hours! A special mention to the staff who stayed up throughout the night, including Bethany, Sophie, Olivia and Shannon.

“We have not yet counted up the donations but all the staff have done brilliantly getting sponsorship. We are asking all parents to get their donations in by Next Friday 30th November.”

Vikki on the treadmill for the Castle Lane sponsored walk

Support for a little fighter!

Born ten weeks premature, Jesse suffered oxygen deprivation at birth and was incubated for several weeks.

Just when it looked like things were improving, Jesse’s parents received the devastating diagnosis that he had a condition called Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL), which is damage and softening of the white matter within the brain, near the cerebral ventricles.

One of the most common symptom of this condition is spastic diplegia (tight muscles in both limbs), contracted legs or difficulties in positioning when sleeping or feeding. Babies with PVL may therefore have a greater risk of developing cerebral palsy – which is exactly what happened to Jesse.

Now nearly 5 years old, Jesse cannot stand or walk unaided – but he has a walker that he is a professional on and uses it with the confidence of an adult!

Raising £10,000 for #JessesJourney for private physiotherapy and specialist equipment

Thanks to huge amounts of physiotherapy and Jesse’s own determination, he has come on leaps and bounds.

However, the next steps are critical.

Incredibly, this very afternoon, Jesse is undergoing SDR surgery (selective dorsal rhizotomy)- a very complex procedure, which consists of cutting the nerve rootlets in the spinal cord. This will stop abnormal signals to the brain, spinal cord and muscles, thus relaxing the tone in his legs. It is hoped this operation will change Jesse’s life.

The surgery in now available on the NHS. However, it is followed by a minimum of 18 months intensive rehabilitation. Jesse will therefore need private physiotherapy and specialist equipment pre and post op to ensure he goes from strength to strength. And it’s for this reason that the family are fundraising £10,000.

A vital part of Castle Lane Day Nursery

Ask any member of Castle Lane about Jesse and their faces light up – there’s no doubt he’s a special part of their team.

Vikki Gamble, Co-director, says “We’ve looked after Jesse since he was 10 months old. We’ve watched him developed both academically and physically. And we’ve been greatly involved in assisting his physical development.

“He’s such a special little boy to us. He’s so loving and caring. He’s never down – always bright and bubbly.

“It would be out of this world to see him walk unaided and anything we can do to help support the family in achieving that goal is incredibly important to us.”

It’s never too late to support Jesse

Donations from this event are already at just over £800.

But if you missed out on giving to the sponsored walk and would still like to make a much need donation in support of Jesse, there is still time!

Either hand it in to Castle Lane reception, or simply head over to Jesse’s Just Giving page and can you donate online in a matter of seconds.

Every single penny helps. Thank you.

Jesse Rutland at Castle Lane Graduation