IT IS nine months since four-year-old Harvey Young had his operation at St Louis Children’s Hospital.
The youngster, from Titchfield, was born with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, meaning he could not use his legs properly.
But, since the gruelling operation, he has come on leaps and bounds.
His proud parents Natalie and Nick, along with their new baby daughter Amy, are delighted with his progress.
Natalie said: ‘He is getting so much better now, and is building his confidence up each day.
‘His strength is a lot better and he even managed 15 steps before Christmas.
‘He is starting to get the hang of his walking pattern also.’
The operation was made possible by the generosity of family, friends and readers of The News.
Almost £50,000 has been raised.
Natalie added: ‘The Swanwick Lions were nice enough to give us a trike for Harvey, and he loves it.
‘He goes out on it every weekend and manages to ride about a mile on it.
‘I want to say thanks to everyone who helped, friends, family and even people we did not know.
‘It has changed Harvey’s life for the better, definitely.
‘He likes wearing his own shoes now as well.’
The NHS does not fund the operation and a number of children in the area have undergone the pioneering treatment in America’s St Louis Children’s Hospital.
But the treatment does not end once they touchdown on British soil.
They must continue intensive physiotherapy and training to keep the muscles working.
‘I would definitely recommend the surgery to anyone else considering it,’ said Natalie.
‘We are still fundraising at the moment but not promoting it as much.
‘Harvey still needs therapy and physio sessions that amount to over £1,000 a month.’
You can follow Harvey’s progress by going to Help for Harvey on Facebook.
If you would help go to help4harvey.co.uk.