Gala makes Dexter’s dream a reality

A WOKING boy will receive specialist medical treatment in the US in January thanks to the stunning success of a ballet gala at the New Victoria Theatre last Sunday evening.

Four-year-old Dexter Summerscales-Heard was born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy, is unable to speak and is reliant on his wheelchair and family to assist his daily activities.

ALL SMILES – A happy Dexter, with sister Tiana, 8, Laurretta and Yonah, and host Wayne Sleep at the Dancing for a Dream gala

After a seizure and further illness in 2017, Dexter lost the ability to eat orally when doctors found that his swallowing function was diverting food into his lungs, instead of his stomach.

Now, though, Dexter has the prospect of a life-changing treatment called VitalStim, which addresses swallowing disorders, at the NAPA Centre in California.

“We set a target of £30,000 to get Dexter to the US and the gala has massively helped us to achieve that,” Dexter’s mother, Gemma, said.

“We don’t have a definite figure of what the total is, as we are still trying to piece the figures together, but we have most certainly made enough to go to the US in January and are booking the flights today!”

The gala, Dancing for a Dream, was organised by Dexter’s aunt and uncle, international principal ballet dancers Laurretta Summerscales and her husband Yonah Acosta,  who live in Kingfield, near Dexter and his family.

It brought together some of the world’s top dancers, including principals and soloists from the Royal Ballet, English National Ballet, Northern Ballet and the Bayerisches Staatsballett in Munich, in a show hosted by star choreographer Wayne Sleep.

Gemma added: “We are truly grateful for all the support which Dexter has received. Words cannot express how much it means to secure this vital treatment for him and restore some enjoyment to his life.”

For further information, please visit JustGiving.com/Fundraising/Dexter-Summerscales-Heard

For the full story get the 14 November edition of the News & Mail

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