Esme shows off her 'magic legs' to pre-school friends
LITTLE Esme Clark has shown off her new "magic legs" to pre-school friends for the first time after a life-changing operation in America.
The brave three-year-old, who has cerebral palsy, jetted off to Missouri last month after her story captured the hearts of Standard readers who helped to raise £50,000 in just four weeks for a spinal operation to help her to walk.
Now back at their Whelford home, dad Laith said the operation had been like a miracle that had transformed his special girl.
"Since the operation she’s been able to achieve many more things than she’s ever achieved before," he said. "She can sit unaided for as long as she needs and doesn’t fall over.
"She can roll about on the floor and she can turn over in her sleep. And she’s developing strength in her muscles.
"All of these are small steps but they’re all taking us towards being able to walk."
Already, Esme has been able to take her first few steps with the help of a special walking frame – something her parents Alison and Laith could never have dreamed of before the operation.
And they are confident that with more work, their only child will one day be able to walk independently and freely like her friends.
Last week, little Esme was eagerly welcomed back to Fairford Pre-School by her friends.
But a tiring daily routine of physiotherapy means that she is only able to attend the pre-school for half days at the moment.
Laith said Esme has been found nodding off during storytime but that she was over the moon to be able to play with her friends again.
"She has been telling people that the doctors in America have given her magic legs," he said.
"For us it has been like a magic wand. Three hours of surgery has transformed our lives because as well as the physical benefits, Esme has become much more confident.
"Before she was clingy and didn’t like new situations but now she enjoys them like any outgoing kid."
He added: "We are eternally grateful for everyone who gave a penny, a pound or a thousand pounds because without the support this wouldn’t have been possible.
"Really our lives look very different now than they did two months ago – Esme should now be able to walk unaided and enjoy a full and pretty normal life."
The family will soon need new equipment to help Esme to walk, such as playmats and a treadmill.
To make a donation and to follow Esme’s progress visit milesforesme.com