This incredibly moving video shows an adorable little girl with cerebral palsy beating all the odds – to walk into school unaided on her first day.
Little Lilac Jackson, who is almost five, has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, and has always relied on walking aids to move about.
But her emotional parents Leila, 37, and Barry, 39, watched in amazement as their little girl walked into her classroom for her first day of primary school on Monday – without any help.
And Leila said Lilac has been “blowing her teacher’s minds” during her first week at Woodmancote Primary School in Cheltenham, Glos., as she potters around her classroom unaided.
The mum-of-three, who also has daughter Lulu, 13, and three-year-old Leo, said: “It’s everything we’ve ever wanted. Her attitude is amazing.
“It just says so much about how far she’s come, and how ready she was for this.
“All parents stop and reflect on their child’s first day of school, but for Lilac this is such a huge milestone. She lives an extraordinary life.”
Lilac was born in Lilac was born in Princess Royal Hospital in Bromley, south east London, in October 2014 – and as soon as she was born doctors realised something was not right.
Leila’s waters had broken at 29 weeks, but it was not until the 34th week has passed that she was induced.
And within 24 hours of her birth, Lilac was blue-lighted across the city to King’s College Hospital, where she was kept on life support for five days.
Now, as Lilac finishes her first week of primary school, Leila said: “This time five years ago she was threatening to be born when she was way off being ready to be born.
“Her progress has been mindblowing. She’s as tough as old boots.”
Leila added: “She was quite nervous about walking into school by herself on Monday, so I’d sort of resigned myself to the fact that walking in without sticks might not happen.
“When we got to the drop-off point I told her to just try a couple of steps. But then when I dropped her hand, she just flew past me.
“She’s been blowing her teacher’s minds all week, because they look round and her sticks are lying there and she’s pottering around the classroom.
“She’s buzzing off the adrenaline. She comes home every afternoon glowing. She’s had a couple of stickers at school this week, so she’s loving life.”
And Leila, who has so far raised over £100,000 for treatment for Lilac through the fundraising page Lilac’s Little Legs, is hopeful that Lilac will some day be able to walk without sticks.
She said: “If she keeps progressing in the way that she is, we’re hoping that there’ll be no need for sticks, and they can sit in the garage and gather dust.”
And little Lilac will soon make her TV debut – as she was cast alongside Broadchurch and Doctor Who star David Tennant in upcoming ITV crime thriller, Deadwater Fell.
Lilac bagged the role through talent agency Zebedee, an agency for those with disabilities.
“The process was incredible for Lilac’s confidence – she got more out of it than any therapy session we could pay for. She absolutely loved it,” Leila said.
Spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, historically known as Little’s disease, is a neurological condition that usually appears in infancy or early childhood and permanently affects muscle control and coordination.
Affected people have increased muscle tone which leads to spasticity – stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes – in the legs.