A SIX-YEAR-OLD boy whose parents were once told would spend his life in a wheelchair is now using a walking frame thanks to a pioneering operation in America.
Ecclesall Infant School pupil Alexander Burland received the treatment after a £50,000 fundraising campaign backed by family, friends and the community.
He was diagnosed with cerebal palsy soon after his premature birth in Athens, while mum and dad Jayne and Christian were on holiday.
The condition left him with major difficulties with his posture and mobility.
Now the operation, and the follow-up physiotherapy, has helped ease some of the spasticity in his spine.
Christian, aged 39, of Hunters Bar, said: “We are very pleased with how it’s all gone. Before, everything was really tight and his muscles were not being used properly but now he is much more comfortable.
“He never uses his wheelchair now, he takes his walker to school and he goes out to the park and the shops with it.
“We hope soon he will move up to tripod sticks, then crutches and maybe hopefully one day he will be able to walk independently.
“We knew the operation wasn’t going to be some miracle overnight cure but already what it has achieved is fantastic and we’re so pleased for him.”
Christian cycled from John O’Groats to Land’s End and Jayne, 40, did a skydive to raise money.
A concert was staged at The Greystones pub by internationally-acclaimed acoustic guitarist Martin Simpson whose daughter, Molly, goes to the same school as Alexander.
And help came from outside Britain. A group of ex-pats living in the Poitou-Charente region of France raised 1,472 Euros at a village fete in the grounds of a chateau. The event was supported by the mayor and local businesses.