Jay (10) shaves head in 10th birthday fundraiser for Help for Heroes
A Fife boy shaved his head for his tenth birthday to support wounded and sick veterans – including his own dad.
Jay Horner, from Coaltown of Wemyss, shaved his head on Sunday to fundraise in aid of Help for Heroes, and as a tribute for his dad, Jonathan “Jack” Horner, who is a Colour Sergeant in 3 Rifles.
Jack (40), joined the British Army at the age of 17. He was injured while on a training exercise in Kenya and has since visited the Defence Medical Rehabilitation Centre at Headley Court several times for rehab.
In May 2019 he injured his back again, and, by Christmas, the pain was unbearable.
An emergency MRI scan showed that Jack had Cauda Equina Syndrome - the lower part of his spinal cord was trapped and emergency surgery was necessary to prevent paralysis and left him walking with crutches.
When Jack came to after the operation he was really cold so his wife, Susan, 38, put his Help for Heroes hoodie over him to keep him warm.
Seeing that photo of his dad in a hospital bed inspired Jay to raise money for the organisation. And his head shave plan shocked his parents.
Mum, Susan, said: “His hair is his life! He spends ages every morning in the mirror styling it.
“It was a total shock when he came to us with his idea and at first we laughed it off but he was adamant.
“He even refused to get his hair cut before going back to school a couple of weeks ago to make sure he had plenty to cut off.”
Jack was due to have three weeks of rehabilitation at Stamford Hall in March but this was cancelled due to COVID-19.
He’s had one week there recently, but the remainder of his rehab is now on hold and he is still on crutches and unable to drive.
Jay understands that his dad is due to go back to rehab when he can, and that Help for Heroes supports veterans and Armed Forces personnel who are going through the same kind of thing.
Jack said: “I couldn’t be more proud of Jay. When it was clear that he was serious we told him he’d have to write to Help for Heroes to get permission to raise the money and he wrote straightaway. He’s amazing!”
Jay set himself a fundraising target of £60, but ended up netting £500 from friends and families.
David Martin, head of supporter fundraising at Help for Heroes, said: “What a remarkable boy he is.
“At a time when we’re seeing a 40 per cent drop in our forecasted income this year, there couldn’t be a better present for him to give us. We would like to say a massive thank you to him and hope he had a very Happy Birthday too!”