Could Botox help Hartlepool ‘miracle’ twin Archie walk for the first time?

Hayley Kennedy with her twins Harley (left) and Archie Garthwaite. Picture by FRANK REID
Hayley Kennedy with her twins Harley (left) and Archie Garthwaite. Picture by FRANK REID

There is new hope for Harlepool ‘miracle’ twin Archie Garthwaite as he awaits a new treatment that could help him walk for the first time.

Born 17 weeks early, little fighter Archie and his twin brother Harley were the most premature sets of twins in the country to survive when they were born in June 2012 weighing less than 2lb each.

Archie Garthwaite when he was born prematurely at the RVI hospital Newcastle.

Archie Garthwaite when he was born prematurely at the RVI hospital Newcastle.

Archie, who weighed just 1lb 4oz, and Harley at 1lb 6oz, clung to life despite both having holes in their tiny hearts.

Archie underwent gruelling open heart surgery at just two weeks old, with Harley following two weeks later.

The pair have made an amazing recovery, but Archie has been left with cerebral palsy.

Mum Hayley Kennedy said she was told by medics when they were born that they may not survive and that Archie would be limited in what he can do.

Twins Harley (left) and Archie Garthwaite. Picture by FRANK REID

Twins Harley (left) and Archie Garthwaite. Picture by FRANK REID

But she has been given huge hope after Archie crawled for the first time last month, which she described as ‘absolutely fantastic’.

Back in 2015 Hayley and the boys’ father Billy Garthwaite, kicked off a campaign called ‘Please Help Me Find My Feet’ to raise £50,000 for an Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation for Archie, which could help him walk independently.

But now they hope Botox treatment will help Archie be able to walk.

It is hoped the treatment will be given on the NHS at the University Hospital of Hartlepool.

Twins Archie and Harley Garthwaite as babies.

Twins Archie and Harley Garthwaite as babies.

Hayley, 25, from Celandine Gardens in the town, said: “The SDR operation that we were raising money for I have put on hold until we can get a date for him to get Botox in his legs, as that might help him start walking.

“But all of the money raised is still going to help him, as he needs a bike and other equipment.

“We hope to have the Botox done at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, and it will see Botox injected into the muscles in his legs that are overworking.

“Once he has had that we can see if the SDR operation is needed, but if the Botox works and he can walk aided with a frame, that would be amazing.

Hayley Kennedy pictured with twins Harley(left) and Archie when they were babies.

Hayley Kennedy pictured with twins Harley(left) and Archie when they were babies.

“All I want for him is to be able to walk.

“I just want the best for Archie.”

And now the brave boys have once again made their mum proud after starting school at Grange Primary School last week.

Hayley, who is now engaged to partner Jonny Swimbourne, 27, said: “They are five years old now and have just started Year 1.

“It’s absolutely fantastic and Archie even crawled for the first time four weeks ago.

“I cried and cried when I saw that, as we were told that one; they were not going to survive, two; that Archie has cerebral palsy and three; that he would be unable to do things.

“But he has proved everybody wrong and the progress that he is making is absolutely fantastic.”