Login Register

Skye's the limit after Christmas 'miracle'

By Western Daily Press  |  Posted: December 30, 2013

By JEFF WELLS

Four-year-old Skye Swinton has walked without sticks for the first time after a ground-breaking operation, paid for by EuroMillions lottery winners who heard about the Cheltenham child's plight

Four-year-old Skye Swinton has walked without sticks for the first time after a ground-breaking operation, paid for by EuroMillions lottery winners who heard about the Cheltenham child's plight

Comments (0)

wdnews@b-nm.co.uk

Remarkable Skye Swinton gave her parents the best Christmas present ever this year by taking her first proper steps unaided.

The four-year-old, from Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, which means since she was born she has been unsteady on her feet and unable to walk without crutches.

But, as previously reported in the Western Daily Press, big-hearted Chris and Colin Weir heard of her plight and dipped into their £161 million Euro-Millions jackpot to pay for Skye to have revolutionary spinal surgery.

She underwent the complex operation two months ago and took her first steps without the aid of walking sticks in time for Christmas Day.

Parents Ruth and John Swinton said it was the most special gift they could have wished for.

Mrs Swinton, 39, said: "Seeing her walking with a smile on her face is the most amazing Christmas present to us – it's very special.

"Her progress since the operation has been amazing. Her quality of movement is so much better than it was before.

"In the past she could not walk properly on her own because she could only walk on the tips of her toes.

"That led to all sorts of other issues with her posture and would have led to movement problems in future.

"Now, she can get her heels on the ground and there is no stopping her. She can walk just the same as everyone else.

"She is absolutely loving it and wants to show off how well she can walk.

"The challenge we've got now is slowing her down so she doesn't do too much too soon because she needs to build up muscles she hasn't used before."

Skye was born 13 weeks premature weighing just 1lb 15oz and her condition has meant she has always been largely confined to a wheelchair.

Her family and friends managed to raise £12,000 for a pioneering operation after her local NHS trust refused funding, but were still a long way from the £40,000 total needed.

So Ruth wrote to Chris and Colin, of North Ayrshire in Scotland, who became Britain's biggest single jackpot winners in 2011, asking if they could help.

She was stunned to receive a phone call informing her the kind pair would stump up the remaining cash.

The operation at Frenchay Hospital, Bristol, in October, took four hours to complete and although the procedure has been carried out in the US for many years, it is new to the UK.

Mrs Swinton, a full-time carer for Skye, said she is already improving at school as a result.

"In the long term this will make a huge difference to Skye's life," she said.

"She is already enjoying getting stuck in at school, but this will mean that, in time, she will be able to take part in all the activities her peers are. That means so much to us."

In a statement Mr and Mrs Weir – who scooped their jackpot in July 2011 – said they hoped their donation would allow the Swinton family to concentrate on Skye's welfare.

They said: "Skye faces many challenges in the next year and she needs her mum and dad to be focused on her. That's why we've given a donation."

Do you have something to say? Leave your comment here...

max 4000 characters

YOUR COMMENTS AWAITING MODERATION

 
 

MORE NEWS HEADLINES

 
 
 

MOST POPULAR