Titchfield youngster on the up after life-changing op

Harvey Young takes first steps on new wall with assistance from Matt Drain and Shane Willis. Picture: Paul Alexander
Harvey Young takes first steps on new wall with assistance from Matt Drain and Shane Willis. Picture: Paul Alexander
Shukrya Saida signs up for further information and vouchers, helped by Shona Green. Picture: Vernon Nash

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AFTER a life-changing operation, five-year-old Harvey Young is starting to develop some independence, walking unaided and even climbing.

The youngster, from Titchfiled, suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, but thanks to money raised by the Help4Harvey campaign, his family was able to fly him out to America for life-changing surgery.

Since the successful operation – which involved cutting the nerves at the bottom of the spine to remove the spasticity in his legs – Harvey, along with the help of parents Nick and Natalie, has been working on making the muscles in his legs stronger.

The Youngs have now converted their garage into Harvey’s personal gym, where thanks to Paul Alexander, Matt Drain and Shane Willis a new full-scale climbing wall has been installed.

Mr Young, 40, said: ‘Part of the rehabilitation we have to put Harvey through is helping him use his leg muscles in the correct way.

‘We were advised by a friend of ours to put in a climbing wall as it will help stretch his muscles.

‘We had originally planned to put something small in before Paul said he would be able to put something bigger in for us.

‘The idea is it gets Harvey stepping side-to-side so it is constantly getting him to think what moves he has to make next.

‘Harvey loves it. On the day it was installed we couldn’t get him to bed until after 8pm because he was so excited about it and he just wanted to carry on climbing.’

Even though Harvey has made great progress since the operation, there is still a long road ahead until he will be 100 per cent independent.

With the five-year-old’s body still developing, every time he has a growth spurt it pushes back the progress of his muscles.

However, Mr Young is adamant that with the support of friends and family, his son can continue to impress everyone.

The 40-year-old added: ‘The issue we are facing is that every time he has a growth spurt he regresses a bit.

‘We just need to keep encouraging him and building his confidence that he can carry on doing the amazing things he is doing.’