Girl achieves dream of walking sister to school after ‘life-changing’ surgery
A six-year-old girl who was told she would spend her life in a wheelchair has achieved her dream of walking her little sister into school.
Amelia-Rose Walton has a rare condition called spastic paraplegia, which causes weakness and stiffness in the leg muscles
Her parents, Tanya, 41, and Ben, 38, raised £100,000 to send Amelia-Rose to the US for pioneering surgery which has allowed her to walk.
They were helped in their fundraising by Gloucester-born adventurer Jamie McDonald and his Superhero Foundation charity.
She underwent surgery in August last year in St Louis, Missouri, and is now undergoing regular physiotherapy sessions and swimming to aid her walking.
Amelia-Rose’s dream was to accompany her five-year-old sister Chloe as she started school for the first time.
She achieved her dream on Monday as they arrived together at school in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.
Mrs Walton said: “It has been tough and the best way to describe it is an emotional roller coaster. You do anything and everything you possibly can for your children.
“It means trying to raise £100,000 for a life-changing operation in America and physio for the next couple of years.
“She was super, super excited. She set herself her own goal to walk her little sister into school. That was completely her choice.
“There was no pushing or shoving from Ben or myself. She asked to do that, and she was just buzzing to walk Chloe into school on her first morning.”
Mrs Walton said having the support of the Superhero Foundation made a big difference to their fundraising efforts.
“We needed to raise £100,000 and to me £100,000 is like a house. Having Jamie and the Superhero Foundation on board made the journey easier,” she said.
“Jamie was there to tell us it could be done, we’re doing it as a team and we did.
“Having the operation is only about 10%. It is constant physiotherapy and during lockdown she was doing that three times a week by video call.
“You have got to put a lot of hard work in to see some progression.
“Putting things on like her socks is physio, which she couldn’t do at all before. Doing everyday things, making physio fun.”