Spixworth toddler’s brave battle to stand on his own two feet

PUBLISHED: 17:43 09 October 2012

Cole Desborough from Spixworth is being treated for clubfoot and his mother Yasmin is trying to raise awareness of the condition.

Cole Desborough from Spixworth is being treated for clubfoot and his mother Yasmin is trying to raise awareness of the condition. PHOTO BY SIMON FINLAY

Archant Norfolk

Cole Desborough loves running around and playing like any other toddler.

But the two-year-old from Spixworth has faced a tougher battle to learn to walk than most because he suffers from club foot.

Now his mother, Yasmin Desborough, is on a mission to raise awareness of the condition as Cole continues to receive intensive treatment to correct his feet.

Cole, two, has talipes, commonly known as club foot, a condition where the ankle is twisted, the foot points down and the sole faces inwards.

Cole has spent his whole life undergoing treatment to correct both his feet, which involved spending up to 14 hours a day with his feet in boots and bars.

“At one point he had to spend 23 hours a day in his boots and bars, but now he just wears them at night time,” Mrs Desborough said.

She found out about the condition at the 20-week scan. Cole was born with shallow hips and wore a harness and cast for the first nine weeks of his life. “I had never heard of it so I went home and searched on Google for it. It prepared us for his birth and we knew about the treatment he was going to get. I wish I knew back then what I know now.” But after an intense two years of treatment, Cole is fighting fit and Mrs Desborough is trying to raise awareness of the condition as Club Foot Awareness Week gets under way from October 13. Mrs Desborough, 29, who lives in Brambles Close, Spixworth, with her husband, John, 30, a builder and their daughter, Adrianna, three, added: “He has been through so much in such a short space of time, but he has sailed through the treatment. He started walking when he was two-years-old.

“He goes to Hainford pre-school and he loves it.”

She said her advice to anyone whose child has club foot would be not to worry.

“When Cole was a baby and in his cast or bars and boots, if people asked what was wrong with him, I would tell them. I could see people looking at him and wondering what had happened. I have only ever seen one other child in boots and bars and that was at a clinic.”

The family have also been supported by the charity, STEPS, which helps those with lower limb conditions.

Mrs Desborough added: “I never thought I would picture the moment where he is running around. I couldn’t imagine him the way he is now. We are so proud of what he has achieved.”

Cole has also recently undergone treatment to enable him to hear more clearly. “He failed his newborn hearing test,” Mrs Desborough said. “Cole had grommets in his ears in September, but he is like a different person now; it’s a whole new world for him.”

For more information about STEPS see

Do you have a story about a youngster who has overcome a rare condition? Contact Lucy Wright on 01603 772439 or email

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