Glen revels in the joy of using his feet



A WEST Limerick boy who has never been able to sit, stand or walk unaided has told of his amazement at being able to cross his legs and stand with the aid of his tripod stand after a massively successful operation in the US.

Just six weeks after undergoing the life changing surgery, adorable Glen Wilkie spoke excitedly to The Kerryman about the novelty of crossing his legs. The eight year old returned to Foynes from the US with his parents Margaret and David and sister Sharon just days before the arrival of Santa, and is loving his new found freedom.

"It's easier to get around and I can cross my legs for the first time," a giddy Glen said "I'm feeling really good."

Glen, who has Cerebral Palsy, spent five weeks in St Louis' Children's Hospital in Missouri after undergoing extensive nuero-surgery on November 17. Up to then, he was unable to sit, stand or walk without help.

This week, Glen's mom Margaret explained that, while there is a long road of physiotherapy ahead before Glen finally walks unaided, she is overwhelmed by the improvements she is already seeing.

"For eight years I've been carrying him around the place and now, here he is, crossing his legs on the couch, putting his feet under him and standing with the aid of his tripod and canes, trying to walk" an emotional Margaret told The Kerryman. "For someone who hasn't see how he used to be before this, it's difficult to explain what's happening, but every day I see a change and it's overwhelming." Glen must now undergo four hours of physiotherapy daily, but he's very much up for the challenge.

"He's absolutely great and if I don't do his exercises at the right time he reminds me," Margaret said. "He's a very bright, intelligent little boy and realises just how important the physio is. There's a long and tough road ahead, probably another two years, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and that is amazing."

Margaret said Glen's transformation simply would not have been possible without the support of people across north Kerry who were instrumental in helping to raise a staggering €63,000 to pay for Glen's surgery and some of his after care.

"I honestly can't thank people enough for the their kindness They couldn't have done enough for our family and that blows me away," Margaret said, emotionally. "It has changed our lives and we will be eternally grateful."

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