MOST youngsters take being able to walk and run around for granted.
But for seven-year-old Sam Deakin-Mant, it meant undergoing a gruelling operation, thousands of miles from home.
Now the sense of pride in their son is palpable as Lisa and Paul, from Cosham, watch him walk around their home with a walking frame – and no help from mum and dad.
Lisa, said: ‘Before he had his operation he couldn’t walk at all. But now he can walk about 150 meters with a frame, without me helping him.
‘And that’s not all. There are lots of other benefits as well. He is so much stronger than he was.
‘He gets a lot less tired. He can go through a whole day at school without any problems.
‘And he is sleeping through the night because his legs don’t have the pain they used to have.’
Sam, who goes to Court Lane Primary School, in Cosham, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was 10 months old.
The illness caused his legs to tighten, stopping him from walking and even standing.
After much research his parents found a world-renowned specialist in St Louis, Missouri, USA, but had to raise £40,000 for an operation which they hoped would help him walk and release the tension in his muscles. Family, friends and readers of The News, rallied round to help raise the money and Samuel is coming on leaps and bounds.
‘Because he can now use his muscles in a more correct way we have to build up his muscle strength,’ said Lisa.
Samuel is now enjoying horse riding, swimming and cycling on a specially adapted bike.
‘We have to do all this to keep his mobility up.
‘It’s amazing to think six months ago he could not take a step.’
But the fundraising is continuing to raise money for intense physiotherapy.
The Southsea Alternative Choir have been on a mini tour of Southsea and have a final gig planned for Sunday, December 29, at the Eastney Cellars. To buy tickets call 07891 469618 for find them on Facebook.
To help with Samuel’s ongoing physiotherapy costs go to samuelsfund.co.uk