Major step forward for Oulton Broad youngster Oliver Whittington
- Credit: Archant � 2017
For a brave six-year-old boy and his family it has been an 'amazing year.'
A year ago this week, Oliver Whittington was undergoing a life-changing operation at the Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) in London.
Now the youngster, who suffers with cerebral palsy, is continuing to amaze all with his progress.
After being born 12-weeks prematurely, and suffering a bleed on the side of his brain, Oliver was diagnosed with cerebral palsy. This meant he could not stand or walk unaided.
But after being selected for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery, his family needed to raise £24,000 for the operation at GOSH as it was not available on the NHS.
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Oliver's Footsteps campaign was launched by his parents Tom and Clare Whittington in December 2015 – with the aim to 'get Oliver walking' – and within a matter of months, enough money was raised to fund the operation in April last year.
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His mum Clare Whittington said: 'Before the operation Oliver could walk 38 metres with walking sticks in six minutes. At the six month check up at GOSH he walked 158m in six minutes - and we're hoping at his yearly check up it will be double that.
'It was like one day he said 'I don't need sticks any more' and he was off – Oliver is doing much better than they had expected and he has amazed everyone.'
And now Oliver has decided to help other children who need the SDR operation. He in training to do the Parallel London Games in September – by walking 1km unaided to raise funds for Faith's Journey, a five-year-old girl called faith from Peterborough, who needs the same operation.
'The minute we said to Oliver about this, he said I will help,' Mrs Whittington said. 'He wants to do it unaided on his own and is very keen to help others. It has been one amazing year. Oliver walks himself from the car into Oulton Broad Primary School now and being a year on we wanted to show people the operation was a massive success.
'None of this could have been achieved without the incredible support we received. The community rallied round to help and raise funds and a massive thank you must go to everybody who helped – you have helped make Oliver's life so much better for him.'