Brave Esme Clark from Whelford is ready for her big step of starting Fairford Primary School
A BRAVE girl who is learning to walk for the first time thanks to Standard readers is getting ready to take her first steps at school next week.
Readers rallied round last year to raise £50,000 for the family of Esme Clark, who was born with cerebral palsy and needed a serious spine operation to help her learn to walk.
We were overwhelmed the generosity shown by hitting the target in just four weeks. And Esme underwent the procedure late last year.
Esme was not able to walk, stand or sit without her special chair before the five hour operation. Now, aged four, she is able to stand up all by herself for three seconds.
But the determined youngster is determined to do better and plans to walk from her mum's car into her classroom at Fairford Primary School next Thursday (September 12) for the first time using her walking frame. The chatty pre-schooler has been enjoying the summer holidays at her home in Whelford with parents Alison and Laith but is brimming with excitement at the prospect of starting big school in September.
"I've got a One Direction lunchbox," she smiled. "I'm most excited to have lunch with my friends Heidi and Ethan."
An avid Harry Styles fan and cheese sandwich lover, Esme feels she is definitely ready for school.
Already hanging in the wardrobe is her pink and white gingham dress and her burgundy school jumper. In the hallway sit her new school shoes which light up red and blue, perfect for stamping her feet as she learns to walk. Alison said the school had been so supportive of the family and accommodating for Esme's needs.
"A room next to the reception classroom has been converted so Esme can still do her physio," she said. "A new disabled toilet has also been built nearby as the school's original one is too far away from the classroom.
"I'm really looking forward to seeing her start school but I'm sure I'll be weeping as she goes in on her first day like every other mum."
Esme does 30-minutes of physiotherapy every morning and is building towards her current goal of being able to stand unaided for ten seconds - something she says she is confident she will manage soon.
To find out more about Esme's cause visit milesforesme.com
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