BRAVE Mitchell Spencer is back at school playing with friends after his life-changing operation in America.
The cerebral palsy sufferer went back to West Park Primary School last week after recovering from two bouts of surgery to help him walk better at a children's hospital in Missouri.
The 10-year-old has been missed at the Coniscliffe Road, Hartlepool, school by both his peers and teachers alike.
Christine Palmer, a teacher at the school, said: "We have all followed Mitchell's progress very closely and have cut out articles from the Mail and put them on the wall.
"During his time away we were all concerned about him and were also kept up to date by his mum. It was great to hear that things had gone well.
"It has obviously been hard for him going through what he has at such a young age.
"He's back with his friends now and hopefully he will get back into the swing of things quickly.
"We are all really glad to have him back."
And Mitchell's progress does not stop there, as he now hopes to go on a trip in June with the school to Carlton Outdoor Education Centre, in North Yorkshire.
Mitchell has featured regularly in the Mail as his family needed to raise 50,000 to send him to the USA for surgery.
That became a reality thanks to generous fundraisers throughout Hartlepool and the North-East who made the Get Mitchell to America campaign a huge success.
In October Mitchell flew across the Atlantic for a three-week stay in St Louis, where he went through two operations and extensive physiotherapy.
His first operation involved surgeons cutting the nerves in his legs which were sending faulty messages to his muscles, leaving the remaining nerves intact.
He had more surgery at the hospital to lengthen his heel cords and hamstrings.
Mitchell is still undergoing physiotherapy and has been wearing splints to support his legs when he goes outdoors.
His parents Deborah, 45, and Phil, 43, who who live in the West Park area of Hartlepool, have been amazed by their son's positive attitude and battling spirit.
Deborah said: "Mitchell is doing really well.
"He's walking around with his legs straight and his feet flat so we're very happy with that.
"It's good to have him back at school and getting back into the routine, even though it has been difficult for him to adjust.
"It has all been hard for him, but in the long run it will be the best thing for him."