This is the heart-warming moment a one-year-old who had several strokes in the womb moves on his own — using a state-of-the-art £6,000 wheelchair.
Adorable curly-haired George Clements-Siddall suffered damage to the part of the brain which controls co-ordination of his limbs before he was even born.
It led to him being diagnosed with cerebral palsy on one side of his body which has left him unable to roll, sit, crawl or walk.
The brain damage came when his mother Susanna Clements, 40, fell and hit her bump on the corner of a step at 25 weeks pregnant.
The second-time mum thought she had “got away with it” after an initial scan only revealed a build-up of fluid, but unbeknown to her she had damaged the placenta.
The junior doctor’s world came crashing down when a post-birth CT scan showed George had lost the use of about a quarter of his brain, caused by the multiple strokes.
Fortunately, help is at hand from a powered chair which it’s hoped can act as a stimulus to rewire George’s brain to help his overall development.
Evidence shows that the earlier children are able to move independently the better it is for their all-round development, according to Susanna.
An occupational therapist arranged for him to try out the powered wheelchair — which can be used indoors and outdoors, on grass and even on a beach.
Like many other recommended aids for disabled children, it is not provided by the NHS.
George’s family have now launched a fundraising drive to pay for a chair which costs around £6,000 and will last him until he is 10 years old.
Susanna, who lives in Hillsborough, South Yorks., said: “If you see the video it is amazing. The designer of the chair commented that he had never seen anyone so young be so responsive.
“You can see him figuring out how it works. It proves he will benefit from it.
“We don’t know how much learning difficulty he is going to have.
“But all the evidence shows that the earlier children are able to move independently the better it is for their all-round development.
“Enabling George to know that he can reach a toy from across the room without help or enabling him to choose to catch up with his brother in the park changes his expectations of life. It changes the way they think.
“At the moment I am just really keen to tap into George’s full potential. I just want to make sure he gets as far as he can.
“The brain has got so much potential to rewire but you just need to give babies that stimulus.
“And as a family, it would be nice to see George making decisions for himself rather than him be completely reliant on us.”
Describing the fall which caused her son’s stroke, Susanna added: “At 25 weeks I had a fall and hit my bump on the corner of a step. At the time my baby had gone from moving to not moving.
“I had a scan and apart from there been a bit too much fluid everything seemed fine, we thought we had got away with it.
“George was born with a small head and it was originally thought that his skull had fused too early.
“At two months old, George had a CT scan. His doctor showed us the image. It looked like there were big holes in George’s brain.
“They didn’t know the cause until he had an MRI scan. He was then diagnosed with porencephalic cysts, likely caused by lots of strokes.
“When I fell the placenta was damaged and he subsequently had lots of strokes.
“The areas that have been damaged in his brain include parts that control his coordination.
“On the left-hand side, there is damage to his motor signals which caused Cerebral Palsy on the right side of George’s body.
“It means George finds it very difficult to move his right arm and leg.
Susanna – who is a junior doctor in palliative care at Northern General Hospital – and her partner Andrew Siddall believe the whole family would benefit from the chair – especially George’s seven-year-old brother Tommy.
To donate, visit gofundme.com/GetGeorgeMoving
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