IT’S been a long journey, but incredible Keira Power is finally walking – and it’s partly down to the generosity of News readers.
The eight-year-old was born with a form of cerebral palsy and was never able to stand up for more than a few seconds because of her condition.
Two years ago she had a life-changing operation on her spine thanks to members of the public – including our readers – who raised more than £60,000 for the surgery, in America.
It is only now that the benefits are really kicking in.
Dad Jason, 39, said: ‘Keira had the operation in October 2010 and, initially, she made quite good gains but then sort of plateaued a bit.
‘She is still fairly restricted but we’re at the stage now where it’s just confidence holding her back.
‘So now we’re building up her strength and confidence.’
Keira has been working out on a treadmill and an upright rowing machine that works the arms and legs.
Mr Power, of Goldcrest Close, Horndean, was able to capture Keira walking on video – a moment he feared would never come.
He said: ‘We were in Portsmouth gymnastics Centre for a birthday. The floor was quite spongy and soft and Keira felt no fear.
‘She walked round and round for three minutes – really only until it got boring for her.
‘It was amazing to see.
‘Anyone that’s involved can’t help but get emotional. It’s been a long journey.’
He added: ‘I think you always believe it’s going to happen, but how much of it is wanting to believe and how much of it is really believing, I’m not sure.
‘We were always optimistic but it was quite hard.’
Keira, who attends Horndean Junior School, said: ‘It’s been a lot of hard work but I feel good. I am able to dance a tiny bit and I’m able to walk.
‘I am able to do a lot of things.
‘Thank you to everyone who’s helped me – because they have put in a lot of hard work as well.’