This is the heart-warming moment a disabled girl who was told she might never walk took her first steps after undergoing a life-changing operation.
Mum Clare Gibbs, 41, watched with pride as three-year-old Georgie – who has cerebral palsy – walked along parallel bars towards her favourite toy.
She captured the tot’s first steps on camera at Bristol Children’s Hospital last Thursday (25/3) just four days after she had pioneering surgery on her spine.
Georgie was born 12 weeks prematurely and was diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy when she was 14-months-old.
Despite Clare, of St John’s, Worcester, voicing concerns about her not being able to sit up at the age of nine months, doctors put it down to her being born premature.
Three months later she was rushed to hospital after suffering a convulsion and an MRI scan revealed scarring in the brain which prevented nerve signals being received properly.
Medics warned her that her mobility probably would be severely limited for life and Goergie has spent most of her time wheelchair-bound.
But after undergoing the ground-breaking procedure – known as selective dorsal rhizotomy – delighted Clare wept with joy as Georgie took her first ever steps unaided.
In the 29-second video the tot can be heard saying: “Beep, beep” as she tentatively walks towards one of the therapists.
A carer responds: “Good girl, keep going” and Georgie’s mum says: “You’ve got to go all the way to win.”
Georgie says: “We gonna win?” as she falters but picks herself back up and keeps going.
When she reaches the physio she turns and smiles at her mother before declaring: “We won, we won”.
Yesterday (Thurs) human resources manager Clare said: “”I was so proud of my baby girl. I cried so much.
“The physios encouraged Georgie by saying she probably wouldn’t be able to step halfway down the bars.
“They had a Pop-up Pirate toy that Georgie really wanted and if she got it then Georgie would be the winner.
“Of course, this was a challenge for Georgie and she took her first steps, a little wobbly and buckled a couple of times but she still got to them and got that toy.
“It was an incredible moment that I will cherish forever.”
The procedure Georgie underwent involved making an incision at the bottom of her spinal chord and severing selective nerves controlling motor function.
This forced her body to redirect these messages via different nerve routes to bypass the scarring in her brain.
She is still recovering in hospital and receiving regular physiotherapy.
Clare, who has another child – Ella, five, with husband Carl, 40, a self-employed builder, added: “The operation was done as part of an NHS trial involving 120 children with the condition.
“Before the operation she couldn’t put her feet flat on the ground, she had no balance.
“Her joints would go so stiff and I’d have to get up in the night to roll her over in her cot.
“The day after the operation I held Georgie while she was standing straight with her heels flat for the very first time.
“I held her close to me for a cuddle and, while her arms were held tightly around her neck, I put my hands down the back of her legs and to the floor.
“I felt that her heels were both flat on the floor and I couldn’t even get my finger under them.
“Her whole body is much looser and she can stand straighter.
“The realisation that the operation had been a success hit me like a thunderbolt there and then.
“I can’t explain the emotion I felt as I’ve never felt it before. It’s relief, pride, thankfulness and the feeling that you have just experienced a miracle in the making.
“She’s going to walk right out of this hospital, I know she is.”