A football-mad little boy from Melton who suffers from cerebral palsy is able to kick a ball about again after being given a special walking aid.
Luke Campey (10), a pupil at Sherard Primary School, is unable to walk unaided because of weaknesses in his legs and feet.
He started to play a sport called Frame Football, for youngsters with mobility issues, after parents Andy and Emma spotted it on Facebook.
Luke initially used an NHS walker to help him play but had become too tall for it.
But he is now able to play and enjoy matches again with his friends after being given an R82 Crocodile Walking Aid, which is placed behind him so he can move much more freely.
Mum Emma said: “Despite the fact he is always happy and optimistic about everything, we could see he was finding the old walker hard to use.
“He was thrilled to be presented with the new one.
“The seat makes a huge difference. If Luke tires after 10 minutes of walking, he can sit down for five and then we can continue.”
She said the walking aid - one of eight to be donated to young people with mobility problems by supplier R82 UK - also helped him enormously in general life, as well as his football sessions.
“It means we can go out for longer and further, leaving his wheelchair at home,” said Emma.
“Luke is currently finding it difficult to ride his trike because of problems with his hips but now he now has an alternative way to stay mobile.
“He can accompany me on short dog walks and uses his new walker easily at Mencap, which he attends twice a month, to meet friends and take part in day trips and park visits.”
Diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of three, Luke relies on the use of his frame, wheelchair or sticks to get around.
He sees a physiotherapist every three months and a specialist in Leicester twice a year.
Luke has had Botox three times and is currently having his gait analysed due to muscle loss on the outside of his feet, which means they bend inwards.
This is causing the splints he wears to rub and is affecting his walking pattern.
Emma said the couple are looking into a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation, which would reduce muscle tightness and stiffness, and help Luke to feel more comfortable.
In the meantime, he has a key helper at school who performs physio with him twice a day and his football activities are a great boost for his fitness levels, which in turn has improved his self-esteem and motivation.”
Luke said the new walker was ‘really cool’
He said: “I’m really pleased with it because it looks great and it’s the right size for me which means it’s brilliant for Frame Football.
“I love going to my club sessions and chatting to all my friends. I enjoy playing in defence mostly and I’ve noticed I can move much more quickly and easily now.”