A four-year-old boy told he would be in a wheelchair all his life has taken his first steps after learning to walk by copying – a disabled DUCKLING.
Brave Finlay Lomax suffered a stroke as a baby and developed cerebral palsy which affects the brain’s ability to send signals around the body.
The family were told Finlay would never walk because of the condition but he has now learned to stand on his own two feet after he began studying – a day-old duckling.
Finlay’s mother Becci, 29, took in tiny yellow hatchling ‘Ming-Ming’ after a farmer friend told her he struggled to walk because of a splayed leg and was going to be put down.
A vet gave Ming-Ming physiotherapy and fitted him with a splint and he began to limp around the family home as his leg strengthened.
Amazingly, Finlay was so impressed by his new pet’s progress he began trying to copy his steps, saying ”I walk like the duck mummy”.
Finlay can now walk for five yards at a time with the help of a zimmer frame at their home in Plymouth, Devon.
Single mum Becci, a law student, says it is ”incredible” that her son has learned to walk by studying a duckling and says the pair now regularly stroll around the house together.
She said: ”I had been told that Finlay might never be able to walk so it’s amazing to think he is taking steps already thanks to the duckling.
”Finlay has been having physiotherapy for his whole life but he never really responded until we got the duckling.
”As soon as Ming-Ming started physio and began walking so did Finlay. I was brimming with pride.
”Finlay has really taken to the him. He is now much stronger and it’s great to see him walking. He said ‘I walk like the duck mummy’.
”I’ve told him that if he works hard then one day he will be able to take Ming-Ming for walks on a lead. That is what he is really working towards.”
Finlay suffered brain damage as an infant and was diagnosed with cerebral palsy – which affects the way the brain co-ordinates movement in the body.
Becci rescued Ming-Ming – named after a character in TV show Wonder Pets – when he was just a day-and-a-half-old after she learned it was going to be put down because of its leg.
The duckling was given veterinary physiotherapy and fitted with a three quarter inch plaster Splint – and within days Finlay was also walking for the first time.
Becci added: ”Basically when Ming-Ming laid down or sat down, his leg was right up near his head and he was unable to walk.
”I was told the duckling was to be put down first of all. I was trying all over to find a vet that knew about ducks. At first I didn’t think he would make it – I felt sick.
”The most amazing thing is, in helping the duckling, Finlay has also taken his first steps.”