Real Life

WATCH: Four-year-old boy with cerebral palsy walks for the first time

Louie’s dedicated parents can’t contain their excitement.

Four-year-old Louie Elbourne and his twin sister Ava were both born with cerebral palsy – [a blanket term for a series of disorders that affect a person’s ability to move](https://www.cerebralpalsy.org.au/what-is-cerebral-palsy/ |target=”_blank”|rel=”nofollow”).

Born nine weeks’ premature, Ava and Louie were shortly diagnosed with different severities of the condition; Ava suffers from Diplegic Cerebral Palsy, which affects both her lower limbs, while Louie has Quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy, impacting both his upper and lower limbs.

Louie also has epilepsy.

In January this year, Ava was included in a life-changing trial, sponsored by the NHS, that saw her become one of the first children in the UK to have cerebral palsy surgery.

Sadly, Louie was denied the same treatment.

“Louie was declined as he didn’t meet the NHS Criteria,” the twins’ parents, Emma and Phil Elbourne, wrote on their website, Louie and Ava’s Dream.

“It was such a horrible but fantastic day, given the news that your daughter has been accepted for this life changing operation, but not your son.”

The devoted parents then went on to fundraise almost $115,000 ($70,000GBP) for their son’s surgery at a private hospital in the U.S.

The result? Louie has started walking just two weeks after his life-altering operation.

WATCH: Louie walking in the video below. Post continues…

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“Although the operation was to remove the stiffness and spasticity in his legs, we’ve noticed a change in his hands as well,” doting dad, Phil, tells ITV News.

“He’s having to think less about his legs now so he’s been able to do more.”

“We think his speech has come along, and he just seems more happy and content in himself, which is just completely and utterly life-changing for us.”

“Just to see the potential that he’s got really brings a tear to our eye every day.”

Louie working hard during his post-operation physical therapy session.

Louie’s progress, and noticeably happier demeanour, has everyone smiling.

Cerebral palsy, in its varied forms, is typically brought on following damage to a child’s developing brain during pregnancy, or shortly after a baby is born.

It can affect the way someone’s body moves, their reflexes, posture, and muscle tone, control and coordination.

According to New Zealand’s Cerebral Palsy Society, around 7,000 Kiwis have the condition.

Sweet siblings, Louie and Ava, standing tall.

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