Scott and Sarah Thorne launched Gracie’s Appeal in May 2016 to enable six-year-old Gracie, who has cerebral palsy, to undergo a procedure which will mean she can walk.
The couple needed to raise a minimum of £60,000 to pay for the surgery and at least two years of physiotherapy, as the operation – known as a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) – is not available on the NHS.
The family hit their total at the Axentis Michael Charity Ball, which took place at Weston’s Grand Pier on November 26, after Dragons’ Den star Theo Paphitis urged guests to donate £500 each to Gracie’s plight.
This led to an impressive £30,000 being raised in just one evening – and Scott said it was impossible to describe how grateful his family were to the pier for the opportunity.
Scott said: “It’s difficult to put into words the overwhelming feeling of seeing so many people get out of their seats to pledge £500 each, all to help our beautiful little girl get the operation which will make such a difference to her life.
“It was a very emotional moment for us. It’s also an indication of Gracie’s character that people are so willing to do so much to help her. She never moans, takes everything in her stride and is always happy. She deserves all the help she can get.”