A Rotherhithe pub will hold a fundraiser this Saturday to help pay for a sick two-year-old boy’s “smile surgery.”
Little Corey-Jaii suffers from Möebius syndrome, an extremely-rare neurological condition that restricts movement in the face. The brave toddler cannot move his eyes laterally, feed himself, blink – or smile.
He was also born with club feet which, although now corrected, means he is forced to wear specialist shoes at all times, even in bed. He also needs to use a walking frame.
His mother Toni Evans said: “Corey can fight anything but unfortunately he can never smile, grimace or have any facial movement at all. So my aim is to raise as much money for when Corey-Jaii is at least five-years-old for the smile surgery.”
Already over £9,000 has been raised for the life-changing surgery, which may cost up to £50,000.
Toni said: “Smile surgery isn’t just for smiling, it opens a whole new door for Corey as this would help him with better speech ability, movement of face and even the use of a straw – all things we all take for granted every day.”
A fundraiser has been organised by Dermot Reardon of The Whelans pub in Rotherhithe Old Road, to take place from 7pm on November 28.
Dermot told the News: “The family are always in here for parties, functions and dos, and I always do what I can to help people out like this.
“Everyone in the community is coming together to help. The musicians who are playing on the night will be donating half of their pay to the fund, and the customers are always so generous, filling jugs with change.
“Other businesses like Donovans beer wholesalers and even the fish and chip shop around the corner are doing what they can and donating money or products.”
Session musician Tony Kelly will be playing on the night, while items donated from the England rugby team and legendary boxer Ricky Hatton will be among those raffled off to raise more funds.
If you wish to donate to Corey-Jaii’s smile surgery please visit justgiving.com/coreyssmilesurgery. If you can donate any items to be raffled on the night, please ring the News on 020 7231 5258.