JUST a few hours after a life-changing operation, Oakley Smith gives a big thumbs-up to doctors.
The three-year-old from Warren Park is thriving after the operation to help him walk.
Mum Angie Mahon managed to capture this picture of her son, whose twin Mykey is with him in Missouri, America, smiling at surgeon TS Park.
She said: ‘We had an agonising three-hour wait until we could join him in recovery.
‘But the operation went well and Dr Park predicts he will walk independently within 12 months.’
The 33-year-old mum-of-four added: ‘Oakley is getting stronger by the day and has managed a few steps with quad sticks already, which he calls his fireman sticks as they are red.
‘We take him back to hospital every day for physio which he really enjoys as they make it as fun as possible with toys. This does tire him though and he needs a few hours’ sleep after each session.’
Angie has nothing but praise for the hospital.
‘The staff at St Louis Children’s Hospital are superb and we feel honoured to have Oakley being taken care of by such lovely people,’ she said.
Donors raised the £35,000 needed for Oakley, who has cerebral palsy, to have the operation.
The fundraising will continue because the family have to pay for intensive physiotherapy when he gets back to the UK because it is not covered by the NHS.
‘We’ve had so many well wishes from family, friends and strangers,’ said Angie.
‘We are truly thankful and Oakley loves to hear them. We are all doing well. Mykey has been an angel through all this and has really supported his twin brother well. Their twin bond is something very precious and amazing to see.’
Oakley will have to stay in America for another two weeks.
To donate to Oakley’s walking fund, go to justgiving.com/Angela-Mahon.