A seven-year-old boy walked 100km to raise money for Furness General Hospital as a thank you for treatment he received to correct the common childhood condition of ‘toe walking’. 

Ralphie Pattinson raised more than £160 with his sponsored challenge of walking every day in March, and will donate the money to Bay Hospitals Charity to support the hospital’s Orthotics department.  

He said: "I've had lots from Orthotics since I was little, with my bad legs and tip toes walking. I wanted to make £25, because casts cost lots and I've broken lots of boots they have given me. I'm happy that orthotics has made me a bit better so I don't need to go to Barrow lots now.” 

Mum Jo said: “He is very pleased with himself, as are we. When he gets something in his head, he is very determined. We are incredibly proud of him.” 

Ralphie was initially referred to the hospital’s Paediatric Orthotics department for toe walking, which started when he was a toddler.  

Idiopathic toe walking is common amongst children and features the habit of walking on the toes instead of the heels and increased calf tightness.  

Toe walking often reduces with age, but some children need special insoles called orthotics along with physiotherapy to help increase range of motion in the calves and bring the heels closer to the floor.  

Ralphie has had a range of orthotic and physiotherapy treatments over the years to address his toe walking, ranging from serial casting, where both legs are wrapped in plaster on a weekly basis to encourage heel walking, to carbon inlays, which are used to reinforce footwear.  

Paediatric Orthotist Emily Farquharson said: “We are very proud of Ralphie for raising this money and for being so considerate to our small team and using his improved heel to toe walking as a means to do something great for the hospital. 

“He is one of the first to do this for Orthotics here at Furness General and he has really impressed us all.  

“His hard work and kindness have certainly showed through this act of generosity, and we look forward to brainstorming ideas with him as to what to spend the donation on.  

“Well done Ralphie, and a big thank you from all of us here at the Orthotics Department - you are brilliant!” 

Bay Hospitals Charity funds the latest equipment for University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay NHS Foundation Trust to help make patients more comfortable and ensure they get the best possible care and treatment. 

Head of Charities and Fundraising Suzanne Lofthouse said: “We’re so grateful to Ralphie for his support for the hospital. It’s great to know that his amazing achievement of walking 100km was made possible by the care he received from the fantastic team at Furness General Hospital.” 

To donate and support your local NHS hospital, contact Bay Hospitals Charity on 01524 516064 or email [email protected]  

Donations can also be made at bayhospitalscharity.org