Adam on the right path to first walk

Adam in the standing frame that will help make his legs strong enough to walk
Adam in the standing frame that will help make his legs strong enough to walk

A BRAVE little boy has cleared another hurdle in his bid to walk for the first time.

Peterlee youngster Adam Butterfield has just undergone his first session of physiotherapy this week.

It is an important development in Adam’s life as he was unable to have any physio since an operation last November where surgeons rotated his hip and put the lower half of his body in plaster.

Four-year-old Adam underwent three-and-a-half hours of surgery called a femeral osteotomy at the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough.

But now he’s recovering well and resumed physio treatment.

Mum Nicola McAllister, 36, and dad John Butterfield, 40, a call centre team leader, are delighted with the news.

Once physio is well under way, medical experts have predicted Adam may be able to take his first steps.

Nicola told the Hartlepool Mail: “Although he found the initial stretches uncomfortable, Adam was great when we put him in his standing frame.

“He remembered how to do it and was really happy being able to stand again.

“His legs are quite stiff due to not standing for over four months but we are confident they will ease in time.

“He will now be going into his standing frame four times a day for 10 minutes at a time to build his leg muscles up before any attempt at walking can be made.”

Experts have told Adam’s parents that their only slight concern was that Adam’s legs were not fully straightening, although they say this will improve with time..

Nicola added: “I am over the moon and Adam is coming on well.

“He has now learned how to sit up from lying flat and he is doing it over and over again.”

The Peterlee youngster has a condition so rare there are only 200 cases in the world.

He has already needed a string of operations for the problems caused by Emanuel Syndrome, a chromosome abnormality affecting every cell in his tiny body.

There are only 12 reported cases of the syndrome in the UK.

Experts have told his parents – who have relatives in Hartlepool – that Adam could suffer from a number of health conditions including heart seizures, kidney failure, asphyxiation, severe mental health problems and an inability to talk.

But they also initially predicted he would never walk.

Carer Nicola, who lives in the Acre Rigg area of Peterlee, said: “We saw the surgeon at James Cook University Hospital and he is pleased with Adam’s progress and said we can now restart physio.”

Adam will need care for the rest of his life. Some sufferers do not live beyond childhood, but others are known to have lived into their 60s.