Belfast Telegraph

Brave Oliver takes his first steps after pioneering US op

By Amanda Ferguson

It's a simple act most people take for granted.

But for little Oliver Dickey, standing up for the first time marks a milestone.

The six-year-old from Coleraine delighted his proud parents after he stood up – and even took a few steps – after undergoing a pioneering treatment in the US.

It was an emotional moment for his family, who had only previously seen him limited to a wheelchair after he was diagnosed with the spastic diplegia form of cerebral palsy at just 18 months.

They were able to take him to America for selective dorsal rhizotmy surgery after the people of Northern Ireland raised £110,000 for his treatment and aftercare.

The transformation has been astonishing – he no longer uses a wheelchair and each week is able to walk further with the help of a walking frame. After surgery at St Louis Hospital in Missouri in July, his recovery has been rapid and doctors hope he will be walking independently by early next year.

Last night, Oliver's proud mother Charlene told how the whole family was amazed at how quickly he was progressing.

"He is getting more and more confident each time. So far he has managed up to a minute at at time," she said.

"He could never have stood on his own before. His feet are also flat now and he hasn't been in his wheelchair."

Other simple acts like Oliver standing to hug his brother Max for the first time have brought joy to Charlene, husband Neil and the wider family.

Last week Oliver's friends and family were thrilled to witness him standing up to blow out the candles on his birthday cake.

To follow Oliver's progress search Help Wee Oliver Walk on Facebook

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