Belfast Telegraph

Miracle boy Oliver Dickey ditches wheelchair to walk to class

By Amanda Ferguson

Coleraine boy wonder Oliver Dickey has walked to school for the first time following pioneering surgery in the US.

The six-year-old is no longer using a wheelchair after undergoing the technique known as selective dorsal rhizotmy at St Louis Children's Hospital in Missouri.

The public raised £110,000 to fund the operation and his aftercare treatment.

Oliver was diagnosed with the spastic diplegia form of cerebral palsy at just 18 months, but following the procedure is expected to be walking independently, without a frame, next year.

Yesterday he was busy having fun in the playground at Millburn Primary School.

Oliver's transformation has been astonishing – and his family and friends have been delighted with his progress.

On the Help Wee Oliver Walk Facebook page his proud mum Charlene shared a photograph of her son in his uniform with the message: "P.2 here I come... WALKING!"

One supporter replied: "Outstanding I'm so proud to see this a few weeks after surgery and off to school WALKING. Well done Oliver."

Another added: "Fantastic! Such a wonderful thing to see! Have a good day at school Oliver x."

The treatment has meant Oliver has been able to do things we take for granted. He was able to stand to hug his brother Max for the first time, bringing joy to Charlene, husband Neil and the wider family.

After the surgery, Charlene said: "It's like night and day. I can't believe the difference."

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