Little girl defied doctors’ expectations by dancing for the first time in her life

Lily Mae Leadsham with mum Kerry before surgery, playing football.

This is the heart-warming moment an adorable little girl defied doctors’ expectations by dancing for the first time in her life.

Cute six-year-old Lily-Mae Leadsom was told she would probably never walk after being diagnosed with cerebral palsy just before her second birthday.

But the smiling youngster now busts a groove daily to her favourite tunes from George Ezra and the Greatest Showman, after life-changing surgery.

Determined Lily-Mae, from Maidstone, Kent, took her first ever steps unaided last week after her family raised nearly £60,000 for her to get Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery last November.

Lily-Mae Leadsham.

They tirelessly held fundraising events over two years to pay for the £27,000 surgery, the costs of private physiotherapy for the next two years, and home equipment to help Lily-Mae walk live independently.

Mum-of-three Kerry Leadsham, 32, who cares for her full-time, said she has always loved to dance but was never able to stand on her own feet.

Lily-Mae lives with her proud parents Kerry and Sam, and her two brothers Sean, 15, and three-year-old Harry.

Kerry said: “It was emotional, happy. It was just seeing all her dreams come true in front of you. SDR has really changed her life and this is just the beginning.

“She can stand for about eight minutes now independently, before she wouldn’t be able to stand at all without support.

Lily Mae Leadsham in hospital after she was born two months premature.

“She actually has take three independent steps without any walking aid and she’s gone from using a walking frame to using quad sticks.

“She can also now partly dress herself, go to the toilet without assistance, and can stand and brush her teeth and wash her hands by herself.

“You can see it in her face, can’t you? She absolutely loves to dance – to be up on her feet and be able to dance, the smile on her face just says it all.

“We never thought when Lily was little that we would ever see her do anything likes this, it’s just incredible.

“At the moment she loves that George Ezra song, it came on and we were in the middle of doing some physio and she just started busting her moves, like I say.

“She loves a lot of music, she really loves the Greatest Showman too.

“It’s a bit of everything, she likes old music even, like Bob Marley.

“She’s always liked a bit of a bop with her head but she was quite restricted because she couldn’t get up.

Lily-Mae Leadsham 5, just returned from hospital after spinal surgery to help her walk, also pictured with her mum Kerry at their home in Ringlestone, Maidstone.

“There was one time when she was one and when she was two sitting on the sofa dancing to Elvis, chucking her arms about.

“But this is the first time she has been up on her feet and hold her balance like that.

“It’s a lot for her to concentrate on, to keep her posture, balance and you can see that she’s really trying.

“It was in the last week. She wants dance to now. She’s doing it every day.

“She doesn’t really get tired, she just keeps going. We’ve a lot of physiotherapy that we have to do but she just keeps going and never complains, always similar.”

Lily-Mae has used a walking frame from the age of three after being born two months premature on Christmas Eve on 2011.

But she can now walk with specialised walking sticks thanks to the procedure and has three physiotherapy sessions per week following up from the procedure.

Kerry was not told anything was wrong with Lily-Mae when she was born and underwent five weeks of specialist care.

Lily Mae Leadsham.

Kerry said: “They said she would probably never walk.

“She learnt to crawl when she was about two-and-a-half – before she couldn’t get about at all.

“She started using her walking frame when she was about three so that would have been her first steps with a walking aid.”

But Lily-Mae never let her restricted mobility to stop her enjoying life and loves going to school at Palace Wood School in Maidstone, Kent.

The Leadsham family is still fundraising for Lily-Mae – to support them visit


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