A cerebral palsy sufferer is thanking everyone for giving him a better future as he recovers from a life changing operation.

Malachi Reid started the hard work of intensive physiotherapy yesterday, three days after pioneering surgery to alleviate his condition.

The procedure carried out at St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri, USA, reduced the spasticity in his legs to enable him to walk unaided.

His dream is to be able to play football with his friends instead of sitting in a wheelchair and being the referee.

His mother Coleen said: "We are really relieved that the operation went well, and Malachi is recovering slowly.

"The family is overwhelmed with the support we have received."

Money for the operation came from fundraising by the people of New Addington, where the 10-year-old lives with his family, and the wider area.

So far £61,000 has been raised and his mum said they still need to raise about £19,000 to fund private physiotherapy sessions when they return to the United Kingdom.

Go to www.justgiving.com/malachisonlywish to donate.