Hartlepool youngster Alfie Smith defies the odds in his battle to walk unaided

Inspirational Alfie Smith has surpassed doctors' expectations as the determined youngster fights on in his battle to walk.

Friday, 14th September 2018, 3:16 pm
Updated Friday, 14th September 2018, 3:17 pm
Alfie in his new school uniform

Doctors and physiotherapists thought the 11-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, would never make it to walking with ‘quadsticks’.

But the Hartlepool youngster has proved them wrong and has now taken it one step further as he grows in confidence on his tripod sticks.

Alfie in his new school uniform

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Alfie, now a Year 7 pupil at High Tunstall College of Science after mking the step up to secondary school this month, had an operation last March called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).

The surgery, which aimed to reduce stiffness and spasticity to improve movement, followed a £50,000 fundraising campaign.

Proud mum Annie Stalley says she’s since found out that medical staff didn’t believe Alfie would make it to ‘quadsticks’.

She said: “I was ecstatic but I always believed he would prove everyone wrong.

Alfie Smith on his tripod sticks

“Medically they tell you to be realistic but as a parent you always carry hope, which keeps you pushing forward.

“Alfie has always been determined. He’s fought from birth.”

Over the last few months, Alfie has been improving his walking using his tripod sticks.

Annie said: “They have a much smaller base than the quadsticks and they’re a lot less stable.

Alfie in his new school uniform

“Alfie has to work hard and use his legs more on the tripods and his strength is building.

“He’s been walking on them alone at home and the next step is to go outside.

“Outside is much more difficult, the surface is a lot more uneven.”

But the proud mum says Alfie’s confidence is ‘growing more and more.’

The youngster, who attended Throston Primary School, has recently started secondary school and has started working with a new NHS physiotherapist.

Annie said: “It’s going amazing. I really couldn’t have asked for a better school.

“They’re supporting Alfie in everything both educationally and physically.”

Now Alfie, from Holdforth Road, is waiting to see if he will undergo two more operations; one to lengthen his hamstrings and the second will be surgery on his knees to repair some of the damage caused by his condition.

Annie hopes that by the beginning of the new year they will know if it will be worth going ahead with the operation and how it will affect his progress as recovery time is much longer.

She said: “Alfie’s very happy. He’s still got along way to go, it’s only been 18 months and the progress he’s made so far is amazing.

“He was one of the older ones to get the operation and the odds were against him from the start. Usually the cut-off line is aged 10 and Alfie was only two and a half months off his 10th birthday.

“He’s so determined and to see him walking with confidence on his own is amazing.”

Watch the video of Alfie walking on his tripods by visiting our website.