A tot who was told he would never walk has taken his first steps in what his mum has described as “the best Christmas present of all.”
Severely disabled youngster William Moreland will be celebrating Christmas surrounded by his family at home after returning to the UK last week following two months in hospital in the United States where he underwent life changing surgery to help him walk.
And overwhelmed mum Michelle Gale has spoken of her pride and joy at her “miraculous” four and a half year old boy for defying the odds in his battle to take his first steps.
She said: “I really believe it truly is a miracle.
“Seeing him walk for the first time really is amazing. I could not have asked for a greater Christmas present.”
Brave William, who has fought a string of battles to stay alive right from his conception, suffers from spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy which meant he was unable to walk, unable to care for himself and forced to use a wheelchair. An operation known as Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy was his only gateway to helping him walk but because the op was not available to him in the UK, Michelle, of Newbolt Road, Balby had to spearhead a £70,000 fundraising campaign to pay for the surgery in St Louis.
William underwent the surgery in October but complications following the operation meant he had to stay in the USA for two months, flying back home just a few days before Christmas.
Within hours of returning, the Balby Central Primary school pupil had classmates and staff both cheering and weeping with joy as he took a few steps in front of them using a walking frame.
Added Michelle: “It was a real emotional rollercoaster and there were times I feared he wouldn’t pull through and whether I was doing the right thing.
“There is still a long way to go in his recovery process but I know that one day he will be able to walk independently without a frame or crutches.”
“He tells me now how he feels powerful, like his hero Spider-Man. He says “mummy, I can move my legs and it doesn’t hurt anymore.” It is so wonderful to see.”
Michelle was forced to give up her job to devote time caring for William and despite the bleakest warnings from medics, never gave up hope that he would one day be able to walk.
She said: “If there are parents out there going through the same thing, don’t give up hope. Love and determination can prove that there is a way.
“While the operation isn’t a cure, it eases the pain and spasticity and gives William chances we never thought he would have. There is still a long way to go with his rehabiliation and seeing him walk without a frame but this is just the start of a new chapter.”
The fundraising campaign will continue to help pay for ongoing treatment. Added Michelle: “I can’t thank everyone who donated enough. I will remember each and every name and all they have done to help William.”
To donate visit www.williamswish2walk.weebly.com or www.justgiving.com/Williams-Wish2Walk or text WWTW70 and a donation amount to 70070, eg WWTW70 £5.