Back in October 2015, Nick Symonds started fundraising for the charity Friends of Anthony Thomas (FOAT – 4MyLeg). Anthony McMahon, a Guernsey boy, was born with a debilitating medical condition known as Bi-Lateral Proximal Focal Femoral Dysplasia, in which he was born with severe joint deformities in his hips and legs, severely impacting his mobility. After medical intervention and treatment of his right leg, the family were faced with the very real possibility that his left leg would be amputated unless funds could be raised for a surgical procedure to reconstruct his leg. Anthony is a huge football fan, and one day hopes to achieve his dream of playing football.
The cost for the surgery, which was to take place in Florida with a specialist surgeon, is around £120,000 and the family would have to stay there for 4 months whilst Anthony went through the painful and extensive physiotherapy and rehabilitation process. Nick worked closely with the family and many other local Channel Islands businesses to raise as much money as possible for Anthony.
Appearing on all local major news outlets including Channel ITV, BBC Jersey, Channel 103 and The Jersey Evening Post, Nick raised awareness of Anthony’s plight and funds began flooding in. As well as this, Nick arranged a 12 hour, 6-a-side football tournament and a ‘Rock for Anthony’ concert which Dominion supported and donated to. These events were massively successful, garnering a lot of media coverage and publicity, and most importantly, the much needed funding for Anthony’s operation.
After raising £108,000, Anthony finally flew to the USA and had his operation on 12th April 2016 to lengthen the bone in his leg. Less than a week later, Anthony was slowly and steadily walking around with the aid of physiotherapy. Since then, Anthony’s leg has been lengthened by 1mm a day, and he’s now gained more than 8cm of bone and now his dream of playing football is slowly becoming a reality.
Dominion is exceptionally proud of Nick and all the incredible hard work he has put into fundraising and raising awareness of Anthony’s condition and our staff, who generously donated, gave up time to help with fundraisers and participated in them.