THIS time last year, little Bayli Lippiett had a dream to walk. Twelve months on, the Blackwood youngster can now take 20 steps unaided, kick a football, ride his trike and climb the stairs at home.
His parents call his progress “a miracle”, after Argus readers helped raise £58,300 in a matter of months, for the cerebral palsy sufferer to receive pioneering surgery in the USA.
Not only is he walking, but the three-year-old is set to start at Fleur-de-Lys nursery at the end of the month, ready to join in all the festive celebrations.
Argus readers were touched by little Bayli after parents Katherine and Darren launched an appeal called A Dream toWalk at the end of last year.
They admitted raising the massive total for Bayli to undergo pioneering treatment at the St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri was “a pipe dream”.
But, after the youngster touched the hearts of many, they raised the cash in a matter of months and flew out to the USA in July.
Bayli received an operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy, a procedure developed by the hospital’s doctor Tae Park.
It involved a bone being removed from one vertebrae, with an incision then made in the spine, which stops faulty messages from the brain getting to a cerebral palsy’s sufferer’s legs.
This helps balance, enabling the patient to walk.
Bayli also received intensive physiotherapy in the USA, which he now has three times a week back home. The youngster can now walk 20 steps unaided and has mastered climbing up the stairs using a hand rail at home. He is also able to kick a football by using walking sticks to balance – which was one of his dreams.
His parents have bought him a trike, which helps strengthen his leg muscles, while he also uses a treadmill and goes swimming.
Mrs Lippiett said: “It’s 18 weeks now since we got back from America and the progress is unbelievable.
It’s a long process and there’ll be things he’ll never be able to do, but everything else is a bonus.”
Bayli is now looking forward to starting school later this month.