Young Alfie Smith’s mum has declared that ‘miracles do happen’ after the youngster has learned to stand up unaided for the first time in 10 years.
Determined youngster Alfie Smith has marked the latest milestone in his fight for independence by standing unaided for the longest time yet.
The simple action is something many take for granted, but for 10-year-old Alfie, it is a significant turning point on his journey to health.
Less than five months ago the Hartlepool schoolboy, who has cerebral palsy, spent a month in Leeds where he underwent life-changing surgery called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR).
Since then he has been receiving physiotherapy three times a week at Physio Hub in Greatham and is now able to go from sitting to standing.
But now he is able to stand for his longest period of time unaided.
Posting the video of his achievement on Facebook, proud mum Annie Stalley said the family have waited 10 years for Alfie to be able to stand unaided, saying that miracles do happen. She said: “To watch him do something like that is absolutely unbelievable.
“Miracles do happen.
“Toddlers can do that, so for it to take him 10 years, it was very emotional to watch him do it.
“I am so shocked to see his progress even though I expected it.
“I can feel a huge difference in his body and he is learning new things that he couldn’t do before.
“The sit to stand is incredible, as it was impossible of him to do that before surgery.
“Its been nearly five months since the SDR and it has been an emotional rollercoaster, but with lots of highlights.”
The SDR operation involved Alfie’s back being cut open so that tests could be carried out on the nerve fibres running from the muscles to the spinal cord to find which ones most reduce his mobility, then dividing them to reduce stiffness and spasticity.
The surgery followed a fundraising campaign which saw residents and businesses across the region raise the £50,000 needed to pay for it.
The cash will also help to fund two years of aftercare.
Now Alfie, from Holdforth Road, looks set to 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.
But mum Annie said the surgery will depend on whether consultants in Leeds and Sheffield think he is strong enough at his six month review in September - making his progress even more important.
She added: “He is ecstatic and is more determined than ever now he can see himself progressing.
“I never expected him to make so much progress so quickly, it is unbelievable.”