A group of boxers in Catford are entering the ring to help a four-year-old boy get a life-changing operation which will help him walk.

Stanley Barrett, from Sidcup, was diagnosed with hereditary spastic paraplegia a year ago after 18 months of repeated hospital visits.

His condition means he cannot walk long distances and struggles to balance due to tension in his legs.

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Stanley’s mother Ruth told News Shopper she and her husband first became concerned about Stanley when he was slow to start walking.

She said: “He was a really late developer and still wasn’t walking at 18 months. So we got a referral to the hospital.”

Mrs Barrett, a former dental nurse, gave up her job after learning Stanley had HSP.

Describing the condition, Mrs Barrett said: “he’s just like someone who has cerebral palsy. He has pain and tightness in his legs which is really common for children with cerebral palsy.”

To improve his quality of life, Mrs Barrett and her husband, Joe, 40, are fundraising to pay for an operation in St Louis in the USA, which could help him walk more steadily as he gets older.

The surgery involves cutting nerves in the spine, which will be followed by two years of intense physiotherapy to build his strength back up.

Since a JustGiving page for Stanley was set up in January, a whopping £20,000 has been raised out of the £100,000 goal.

Family and friends have rallied around in organising bake sales and other events, and Mr Barrett has booked a skydive to raise money for his son’s surgery.

And a family friend, Nicky Clark, has stepped up to help Stanley get to his goal by organising a fight night in Catford on May 3.

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“It’s so nice, what he’s doing,” Mrs Barrett told News Shopper.

Stanley currently needs a wheelchair or a walking frame to travel longer distances. His mother hopes the operation will aid his balance and improve his walking.

“He needs to stop and hold things when he’s walking. He can’t jump or use a scooter or do things normal four-year-olds do,” Mrs Barrett said.

Despite his condition, she described her son as “always smiling".

“He doesn’t let it get to him at all. He’s always happy.”