NEWSPAPERS like the Argus are often accused of only being interested in bad news.

And there is no doubt there has been plenty of bad news in Gwent in the early weeks of this month.

So we are delighted to bring you some genuine good news today with our report of Maisie Cooper's first unaided steps.

Maisie, aged three, from Crosskeys, suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy – a condition which means her muscles tense up too much and she struggles with simple tasks like sitting up and standing up.

Argus readers helped raise £60,000 to send Maisie to the United States for an operation called a selective dorsal rhizotomy.

Three months after the operation and Maisie has taken her first unaided steps at a specialist physiotherapy centre in Scotland.

We are delighted for Maisie and her family.

But there is a scandal attached to this story – these operations are not available on the NHS in this country and that is why we have run so many stories about parents fundraising to send their children to the US.

For most of these children, it is their only chance of being able to walk unaided.

Of course, the operation is expensive. But surely that is why people pay their taxes – for the NHS to be there for them in their hour of need.