IT IS a magical moment for parents seeing their child take their first steps but for the parents of Aiden Farrell it was a long-awaited dream come true.
The four-year-old suffers with cerebral palsy and his parents, Sara and Gevun, were unsure if they would ever see him walk without the help of a walker.
But thanks to a life-changing operation in Bristol, Aiden is now taking steps with the help of sticks and is making good progress.
Mum-of-four Sara said: ‘It has just been fantastic since we got back from Bristol.
‘Aiden is now walking with the use of sticks which he wouldn’t have been able to do before the surgery.
‘He isn’t in pain anymore and he is making such good progress.
‘His doctor said it could take a year for him to start walking but he is doing it now just 13 weeks since the operation.
‘He is a totally different boy. His speech is improving and he is happier where he isn’t in pain. It’s just really fantastic. Aiden is improving all the time and he starts school in September so it is just in time for that.’
Sara and Gevun, from Grange Crescent, Gosport, had to decide whether to take Aiden to America for his surgery or to take him privately to Bristol.
They opted for Bristol after meeting the requirements for selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery which eases stiffness in the legs.
But with the operation not provided by the NHS and costing £21,000, the family had to fundraise. Many events were held and readers of The News helped boost the coffers.
Sara added: ‘We managed to raise £33,000 which was amazing.
‘We had a lot of support from family, friends and people in the community.
‘But we will have to start fundraising again soon because the aftercare has cost more than we thought.
‘We have been to Scotland for two weeks for physiotherapy to help strengthen his leg muscles and we are looking to go another two times.
‘But when we are at home, it costs £780 a month for his aftercare.
‘We thought the money we raised before the surgery would be enough but Aiden needs to go to physiotherapy for a full two years after the surgery.
‘So we have enough for the next few months but we do need to start getting some events organised.’
The family have decided to hold a horse racing theme night at Gosport and Fareham Rugby Club, off Dolphin Crescent on June 20. To make a donation visit justgiving.com/Aiden-Farrell