'˜I am going to walk' - little fighter Alfie Smith continues to take steps towards independence
Inspirational Hartlepool youngster Alfie Smith has pledged that he will walk independently a year on from his life-changing surgery.
Ten-year-old Alfie is continuing to defy doctors expectations with the progress he is making following an operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).
The youngster from Holdforth Road in Hartlepool, was born with cerebral palsy underwent the surgery in March last year to help him walk.
The operation, which aimed to reduce stiffness and spasticity to improve movement, followed a £50,000 fundraising campaign.
Now 13 months on, Alfie’s mum Annie Stalley has been left in awe of her son’s incredible progress, hailing him as a ‘little fighter.’
She said: “He is doing really well and is still progressing.
“He is my little fighter.
“Alfie is now able to go from sitting to standing without using the hand support he was before to stand up. “He is also progressing to using just one quadstick to walk and has managed to take 11 independent steps with just one quadstick in physio.
“It has been just over a year since he had the surgery and now he has been able to walk with two quadsticks.
“So he is still proving everybody wrong and I am so proud of him.”
The Throston Primary School pupil has been undergoing intense physiotherapy to improve his mobility and achieve his goal of walking independently.
He is now working towards being able to walk with just one quadstick.
Annie continued: “Alfie is over the moon and is really pleased with himself.
“He he gets over excited and tells everybody what he has been doing.
“He says; ‘mum I am going to take independent steps, I am going to walk.’
“And I 100% believe he is going to walk.
“For him to be starting to mobilise on one stick so soon is outstanding.”
Doctors have told the family that Alfie is making such good progress that they feel he does not yet require additional surgery on his knees or have hamstring lengthening as originally thought.
The news has come as a relief to mum Annie who says it would have taken Alfie two years to recover.
She said: “It would have been a major operation that would have involved cutting the muscle, bone and tissue around the knee as well as having hamstring lengthening.
“But because he is making such progress and he is on the up, doctors thought that it wouldn’t be good to intervene and take him off his feet.
“Although it is a possibility down the line when he is bigger.”