Dylan's a step closer to realising his dream
DYLAN Storey is continuing to make good progress towards his dream of being able to walk independently.
Scunthorpe Telegraph readers helped raise £50,000 for the seven-year-old to undergo an operation in America to ease the symptoms of his cerebral palsy.
Now, two years after that fundraising target was hit, Dylan, of Bottesford, is continuing to feel the benefits of the selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery.
Dylan's mum Fi Storey, 26, said: "His confidence in himself is a lot better, he is doing things himself and trying things himself.
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"He can work his own wheelchair now and he could never do that before.
"He is really confident with his frame and he can manoeuvre it around.
"He has gone from only being able to walk in a straight line to being able to go around corners and actually physically function with it.
"He is standing on his own and watching television and not realising he is doing it."
Dylan, who attends St Luke's Primary Special School in Scunthorpe, had the operation at St Louis Children's Hospital in February 2011.
Its main aim was to help him walk but Fi said she had noticed big improvements in other areas.
She said: "His progress in all aspects of life is coming on. I didn't realise how much it would improve his life completely, in every aspect.
"I never thought about things like that but his eating has improved.
"He struggled to swallow but that has really come on."
Dylan attended intensive physiotherapy sessions in Hull until his programme came to an end in September.
Instead, he now receives physio support at school.
Fi said: "He is doing things in school and he has got two hydrotherapy sessions a week, which is great for him.
"We are plodding along as we are because we think he will progress without a massive input from physiotherapy at the moment. Everything is improving, not just his walking.
"His confidence is improving, he is improving mentally and he is a lot more outgoing."
The Dylan's Dream appeal was launched in July 2010 and reached its target just before Christmas that year.
That meant he could have the life-changing operation, which reduces muscle stiffness and improves functions.
Dylan returned to the United States for a one-year review in March this year and his family is planning a similar trip around the same time in 2013.