Family's race to raise funds for teenager's chest operation

Oscar Branston-Tilley who has a pectus excavatum which needs an operation to put a metal bar in his

Oscar Branston-Tilley who has a pectus excavatum which needs an operation to put a metal bar in his chest. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2021

A family is appealing for help to raise £3,000 in the space of a month for their teenage son who needs an operation on his chest.

Oscar Branston-Tilley, 14, from Northrepps, has pectus excavatum, a condition where a person's breastbone is sunk into their chest.

The condition causes Oscar breathing difficulties, has affected his quality of life and has meant he has had to stop playing sport.

Oscar Branston-Tilley needs an operation. Pictures: supplied by Jodie Branston-Tilley

Oscar Branston-Tilley needs an operation. Pictures: supplied by Jodie Branston-Tilley - Credit: Archant

Last year the family embarked on a £16,000 fundraising drive to pay for the teenager to have an operation which would see a bar placed in his chest to lift his sternum, a procedure not available on the NHS.

Plans changed in August 2020 when the family found another procedure, available in Middlesbrough, which would see his chest rebuilt, costing a lot less but still unavailable on the NHS.

Now, they have been told Oscar is not old enough for the Middlesbrough procedure but is eligible for a similar operation to the original one, which is available in London at a cost of £13,000.

The family already have funds raised but now have just one month to find £3,000 to enable Oscar to have the operation this summer, giving him enough time to recover before he starts his GCSEs.

Oscar Branston-Tilley (top left), with his mum Jodie and brothers Blake and Flynn

Oscar Branston-Tilley (top left), with his mum Jodie and brothers Blake and Flynn, who has pectus excavatum and needs an operation to have a metal bar put in his chest. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2021

Jodie Branston-Tilley, Oscar's mother, said: "He should have had the operation at Easter and we had the money for that but everything was pushed back."

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Mrs Branston-Tilley said the family were aware the procedure was "a big operation" but would enable Oscar to "be proud of his chest and do his sports again".

"He wants to be a policeman and to do that you need to be fit and healthy," she said. "He really misses PE and all of the games at school."

Oscar Branston-Tilley (middle), with his brothers Blake and Flynn, who has pectus excavatum

Oscar Branston-Tilley (middle), with his brothers Blake and Flynn, who has pectus excavatum and needs an operation to have a metal bar put in his chest. Picture: Danielle Booden - Credit: Archant 2021

In the past, the Branston-Tilleys have thrown themselves out of a plane and shaved their heads to raise funds for Oscar but Mrs Branston-Tilley said due to the time constraints they would try to raise the money by selling things at car boots sales. 

They are also appealing for donations from the community.

To support the family's fundraising drive visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/choose-kind-fund

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