A four-year-old girl with cerebral palsy made her first day of school especially memorable by taking her first unaided steps as she walked up to the building.
While watching your child head off for their first day of school is a proud moment for any guardian, Natalie Hughes was given the extra special display from her daughter Millie, who was born with the condition.
The young girl, from Carnforth, Lancashire, was accompanied by her twin brother, Evan, and 36-year-old Natalie for the big moment, which she had told her mother she was determined to achieve.
Watch the heartwarming moment she took her first unaided steps here:
Millie has had several treatments throughout her life to help her with her cerebral palsy, a condition which affects movement.
To help her get to the point of being able to take steps without a walking frame, the schoolgirl recently had £32,000 worth of surgery and months of physical therapy.
One of Millie’s operations was a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), which sought to increase Millie’s mobility by affecting the nerve systems in the lower back which control limb movement.
Natalie spoke about how proud she was of both her daughter and son, for supporting his sister along the way.
Millie was so determined and wanted to do it. It makes me cry every time I watch that video.
Evan was encouraging her, you can see his little feet in the clip and hear him ask, ‘Shall I get your sticks or a toy?’ It’s really sweet.
It makes me really, really proud. She’s come so far with all her physio and Evan always wants to help her.
Millie had a smile on her face as she made her way to the school entrance, and Evan could be heard telling those watching about his sister’s achievements, saying ‘she’s been practising all summer!’
It’s just nice to see him be there for her and wants her to walk as much as she does.
They love each other very much and he’ll ask, ‘Are you ok, Millie?’ and try and help her.
When we go to the park he makes sure she has a good time and pushes her on the swing which is lovely to see.
Yesterday was her first time walking in public unaided, something made possible by an intensive strength and conditioning course at specialist therapy centre Walk This Way in Perth.
She’s struggled with confidence so I’m hoping our next visit there will really help.
She’s now able to do things she couldn’t do before the operation and is smashing it – I’m so proud of her.
Viewers of the video took to social media to praise the young girl for her accomplishment.
One twitter user wrote:
Well done Millie. You are a star and hero.
❤️ Well done Millie. You are a star and hero.❤️
— Johnny (@fishfacejohnny) September 7, 2018
Millie’s determined nature is truly fantastic to watch, what a brilliant achievement!
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Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.