A family has jetted off to America for life-changing surgery for their son after raising £50,000 to fund the procedure.
Elena, 40, and Matty Kiraly, 43, from Portlethen, hope the operation will provide a new lease of life for Luca, who has cerebral palsy.
Luca, 10, was born prematurely and was diagnosed with the condition when he was just seven months old.
The Portlethen Primary School pupil needs a wheelchair when outdoors and can only walk a short distance with a walking frame.
Luca will undergo a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) which will relieve pain and help build his muscles.
Originally from Romania, Luca moved to the north-east with his parents and older brother Matty, 16, in 2011.
Elena said: “We needed to get £80,000 for the surgery. We raised around £50,000 and we are paying the rest.
“It was a huge effort. Everyone around us has been brilliant.
“It has been overwhelming to see everyone donating money.
“I’m really scared for the upcoming surgery but I know it is going to change Luca’s life.
“I think any parent would be scared because it is a major operation but it will be amazing to see the outcome.”
The family carried out several fundraising events, including the Gung-Ho 5k at Castle Fraser, after being offered a cancellation abroad.
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The procedure will take place tomorrow at the Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, which is known as the most advanced facility for SDR.
Elena previously said she only became aware of the SDR surgery after reading about it in the Evening Express.
She read an article about the plight of nine-year-old Olivia Brands, who suffers from the same condition and underwent the procedure.
Elena said: “I had never heard about the surgery before and I saw an article in the Evening Express because I was following her story.
“The doctors have told us that Luca might be able to walk with crutches – it will be great.”