THE new year has started well for Wearside youngster Phillip Scott who is hoping to walk unaided, thanks to specialist treatment.
The plucky five-year-old, who suffers from cerebral palsy, is now receiving treatment at Footsteps rehabilitation centre, in Oxfordshire, as he bids to walk on his own for the first time.
Phillip, from Silksworth, is spending three weeks at the facility, working with physiotherapists to build up his body strength.
For a couple of hours each day, Phillip and other children work with physiotherapists to improve their mobility.
Phillip’s visit to Footsteps, and his two visits in 2012, have been made possible thanks to the tremendous generosity of Echo readers, who have backed our Help Phillip Walk appeal by donating thousands of pounds.
It costs £1,300 for a week’s treatment at the facility.
Speaking to the Echo from Footsteps, Phillip’s dad Paul said: “It’s a slow process, but he’s enjoying it.
“He has no body strength and he needs to keep himself sitting up properly first.
“He’s trying to build up his arms and legs during the time he’s down here.”
It was just a few months after Phillip was born that his family were told by medics that he had a severe form of cerebral palsy, which affects his limbs and means he needs a wheelchair to get about. It is hoped that in the coming years the Ryhope Infants School pupil will eventually be able to walk unaided and lead a normal life.
“It’s not a miracle cure,” added Paul, who is husband to Diane, 43, and also dad to Phillip’s siblings Samantha, 13, and Kristian, six.
“It’s going to be a constant thing for him over the next few years.”
Phillip’s family remain confident that continued rehab at Footsteps will have a positive impact on him.
Paul said: “He is my son and I want to give him his independence so he can do the day-to-day chores which we can sometimes take for granted.”
Phillip’s family once again expressed their huge gratitude to the scores of Sunderland people who have donated money or helped the appeal through fund-raising events.
“Diane and I want to say ‘thank-you so much’ to everybody who has helped,” said Paul, 48.
“There are a lot of people who we have not been able to say thanks to for what they have done.”
Those who want to help out by donating money towards Phillip’s treatment should call Paul on 523 6302 or email email@example.com to find out how to get involved.
To find out more about Footsteps go to www.footstepscentre.com.