Gallery & Video: Six-year-old defies medics who said he would never walk

PUBLISHED: 18:21 13 August 2009 | UPDATED: 09:13 02 June 2010

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A SIX-year-old disabled boy who doctors believed would never walk has amazed his parents by taking his first steps. Josh Jackson was born with cerebral palsy and last year medics told his parents, Clare and Harvey Jackson, that it was unlikely that their

A SIX-year-old disabled boy who doctors believed would never walk has amazed his parents by taking his first steps.

Josh Jackson was born with cerebral palsy and last year medics told his parents, Clare and Harvey Jackson, that it was unlikely that their son would ever walk.

But two weeks ago the youngster shocked his family by starting to walk unaided.

Mrs Jackson, who works as a support supervisor in Wisbech for Cambridgeshire County Council, said: "We never thought he would walk. This has come completely out of the blue and we are over the moon."

She added: "The day that doctors told me my little boy might never walk, I burst into tears - I couldn't believe what I was hearing."

Their son's "miracle" happened on July 28 when Mr Jackson was doing some DIY at the family home in Warboys, near Chatteris.

He said: "I had put Josh on the sofa while I was fiddling with some plugs in the corner of the lounge. I then saw something out of the corner of my eye and spun round to see Josh standing next to me with a big grin on his face.

"I was shocked to find he had walked four or five metres to me."

Mr Jackson, who works as a mechanic in St Ives, celebrated his 40th birthday on Friday and said it was the best present he could ever have received.

He said: "I didn't know what to do when I saw Josh standing next to me so I shouted for Clare to come and see. She phoned our family to let them know the good news. Since then everyone has been smiling from ear-to-ear."

Mrs Jackson, 39, believes Josh's determination and desire to walk comes from his wanting to be like his brothers, Sam, aged nine, Joe, eight, and Alfie, 20 months.

"Josh would sit and watch Sam and Joe running around and Alfie learning to walk," she said. "You could see in his eyes that he wanted to be running around with them.

"We are all so happy that he is walking and you can tell Josh is happy too, as he hasn't stopped smiling."

Josh, who undergoes regular physiotherapy sessions at his school, Spring Common Special School in Huntingdon, had managed to move around using a wheelchair or shuffling on his bottom.

But now the youngster is confident enough to walk around the house and garden unaided but has knee and elbow pads in case of a tumble.

Although he is yet to master getting himself up off the floor, his parents are hoping this will be the next step.

At first Josh started taking just 10 or so steps but now his family say "there's nothing stopping him" and he is spending a lot of time walking.

Hayley Birch, who works for Cambridgeshire Community Services and is Josh's physiotherapist, said: "I wasn't expecting this and I am really, really pleased for Josh and his family. All credit to his school for keeping to the physio programme.

"He has made some fantastic progress over the last year and we will now be helping him get steadier on his feet."

Mrs Jackson said Josh's new found ability to walk had "opened up a whole new world".

She added: "Josh can see things in a whole new perspective, it's like a different world for him. Instead of being on the floor he can now walk over to the window and look outside and see the birds and he even waves to the farmers as they go by on their tractors.

"We often have to double-take as it is strange seeing him walking around.

"He is so clever and we are so very proud of him and we hope our news provides hope for other parents in our situation.


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