A toddler diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 11 months old took his first steps ever as a 2-year-old and his parents, who said the past year has been “hell,” recorded the heartwarming moment.
Hunter Maskell beat the odds and took his first steps while his proud family captured the event on video. The toddler was diagnosed with cerebral palsy following a stroke and has been fighting hard ever since. Doctors diagnosed the young boy with hemiplegia, a form of cerebral palsy that affects mobility and muscle movement.
Hunter’s mom, Chloe Bell, and dad, Gary Maskell admitted that there were times during the past year that they thought their son would never walk again, according to Chronicle Live.
It was very scary. When you hear cerebral palsy, you think of a wheelchair and you don’t know how they are going to progress,” said Chloe Bell. “It is life changing and I didn’t think he would be walking at all.”
Hunter went through intense physiotherapy and physical training at the non-profit organization, Heel and Toe, an England-based organization that has already helped hundreds of physically disabled children.
“Getting the physio in before the age of about seven or eight is really important as after then the brain function slows down,” Chloe Bell explained. “Now, we are training his left side of the brain to compensate for the right side, as he has left sided cerebral palsy with damage to the right side of his brain. So, because he’s a baby you can retrain the brain very early on as you have this window in time to make an enormous difference.”
Meanwhile, Paul Gilsenan, chairman of Heel and Toe, is hoping to raise money for the facility that’s currently an older building without any of the new cutting-edge technology, which can be used to help children even further. He hopes to raise at least £280,000 (British pounds) from local communities and businesses, and anyone else who’d like to donate.
They’re also hoping to expand the premises to the nearby Chester-le-Street, a town in Durham County, England. Gilsenan said the new facilities would contain therapy rooms, a unique hydrotherapy pool, therapy rooms, trampoline rebound therapy, a charity shop, and accommodations for families of patients who are traveling from out of town or state.
“We’re asking local communities and businesses to get involved in our Footprints Appeal to raise money which will enable us to restore a building we have purchased through our fundraising and provide vital therapy for disabled children from across the region.”
Chloe reported that Hunter continues to improve and can now walk from the “sofa to sofa,” something she considers a major milestone.
“It’s the best ever feeling. He’s taken more steps as well. He can walk from sofa to sofa which is great. It’s a massive milestone he has achieved.”