Onwards and upwards for Barnoldswick boy

Medical staff are delighted with the progress of Barnoldswick boy Oliver Rushton (3) a year after he underwent life-changing surgery enabling him to walk. Photo by Flat Cap Photography.
Medical staff are delighted with the progress of Barnoldswick boy Oliver Rushton (3) a year after he underwent life-changing surgery enabling him to walk. Photo by Flat Cap Photography.

A Barnoldswick boy has thrilled medical staff with his progress a year on from life-changing surgery which has enabled him to walk independently.

Oliver Rushton (3) returned to Leeds General Infirmary for his one year assessment following Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery in August last year.

Barlickers and folk from the wider Craven and Pendle areas dug deep in a 12-month fund-raising effort launched by the Rushtons to help pay for the costly surgery and rehabilitation at an estimated £40,000.

Oliver, who suffers with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy, took his first independent steps a little over two months after the operation and a year into his intensive rehabilitation, he has continued his development and leads an active life.

Ecstatic parents Helen and Adam, of Carr Road, said: “The team are thrilled with his progress. Oliver no longer uses a walker to get around and walks independently.

“His confidence has grown enormously as has his personality. Oliver has mastered pedaling a bike and the team are confident he will ride without stabilisers. He has almost mastered swimming without aids.

“Oliver has physio twice a week and hydrotherapy. He has never moaned about having to do this and really does take everything in his stride.”

Oliver is also enjoying his role of big brother to sister Alice who was born in May.

He still wears splints on his legs to help with his walking but Helen and Adam say the medical experts are confident these will be reduced over time.

Helen, a midwife, and Adam, a who works in customer service for Jura in Colne, are now looking for schools for Oliver who is due to start in September.