The parents of a baby boy who needs life-saving surgery are a step closer to it happening after the NHS agreed to fund treatment.
Lydia and Tim Cameron, from Wantage, have been fundraising since January, when their son Oliver was born with a rare heart tumour.
The couple have been tirelessly campaigning to raise £150,000 for the treatment in the US after being told by the NHS that the surgery their son needs cannot be carried out in the UK.
But now they have been told by NHS England that their trip to Boston for the operation could finally be a reality.
Mum Lydia said it has not yet been confirmed how much of the total will be covered by the NHS, but expects to receive an official confirmation in the next few days.
She said the call was ‘unexpected’, after their initial funding application to the NHS was rejected months ago.
She added: “Having a newborn baby is hard enough but having a poorly newborn baby has been really difficult. It has just been Tim and I.”
After months of online fundraising, reaching out to local news outlets, and hosting anything from a car wash to a charity golf tournament, they have managed to raise £140,000.
Lydia said: “We have not had a campaign manager or anyone professional to help us. It has just been us two tirelessly fundraising.”
The fragile little boy has had to endure several episodes of tachychardia, where the heart beats irregularly and can be fatal.
They have spent their time in and out of hospital, hoping that Oliver’s heart remains stable.
Previously doctors in Boston advised that to maximise Oliver’s ability to recover his parents should ideally wait until his first birthday in January but, if his condition worsened, he may require the operation immediately.
An NHS England spokesman said: “The application identified there is not currently a surgical service in the UK with experience of treating this exceptionally rare condition and we have therefore agreed to fund Oliver’s treatment abroad.
“We have also determined that a clinical policy is required for service access and will explore whether a service in the UK is appropriate considering the small number of patients.”
They added that the number of patients with the extremely rare condition, called cardiac fibroma, is estimated to be in single figures nationally.
They also said there are discussions as to whether a UK surgeon might accompany Oliver to Boston to learn from the surgeons in the US so that this type of innovative surgery can potentially be offered in the UK in future.