Parents’ joy as Brandon walks

Melanie Davies and Andy Conway with their son Brandon Conway (3) pictured at their home in Copnor, Portsmouth.  ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (13963-199)

Melanie Davies and Andy Conway with their son Brandon Conway (3) pictured at their home in Copnor, Portsmouth. ''Picture: Allan Hutchings (13963-199)

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FOR most parents, seeing their child take its first step is a poignant and proud moment.

But when Brandon Conway started walking, his mum Melanie Davies and dad Andy Conway, 30, cried tears of joy.

As previously reported in The News, the three-year-old suffered a stroke shortly after he was born at Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham.

It left him battling with restricted movement on his left side, poor vision, epilepsy and unable to crawl or walk.

His only hope was to have a body vest – costing £500 – that would help stimulate his muscles and help him lead a normal life.

Staff at The Alexandra, Wingfield Street, Buckland, Portsmouth, held a fundraiser and paid for the suit.

Now, 18 months on, Brandon is walking. Melanie, 24, of Copnor Road, Copnor, said: ‘When he took his first steps, I was in tears. It was amazing.

‘We were on holiday in Portland, and he was tottering around the cottage.

‘He would let go of one bit of furniture and go over to the next bit. It was amazing.

‘We called our family and friends, and they were all happy for us too.’

The family first found out Brandon had had a stroke after a head scan.

His parents noticed that he didn’t seem to use his left side and wasn’t taking milk properly.

The family paid for the first suit, and since then the NHS has been providing bigger sizes as Brandon grows.

‘He’s growing quickly and goes through about four suits a year,’ added Melanie, a full time mum.

‘The suit keeps his hips and back straight, and keeps him a bit more balanced.

‘It’s also longer on the left arm, as that side was affected.

‘We knew he would walk, but we didn’t know when it would happen and how soon.

‘The wait felt like it was going to be forever.’

Brandon goes to the Willows Centre For Children in Battenburg Avenue, Portsmouth, which helps babies and toddlers with disabilities.

Melanie added: ‘We want to say thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us. It means a lot to us.

‘Brandon is also talking a lot more now.’

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