Sunday 19 November 2017

Michael (4) has defied doctors by taking his first steps

Michale Barry (4) from Blarney, Co Cork
Michale Barry (4) from Blarney, Co Cork
Michael Barry (4) from Blarney Co Cork
Laura Larkin

Laura Larkin

A young Cork boy has defied his doctors by taking his first steps , four years after they feared he wouldn't be able to do anything for himself.

Michael Barry (4) was born with a rare genetic condition, called Aqueduct Stenosis, which has left him with global developmental delays.

Despite concern from his doctors that Michael would never be able to walk he has completed a round of therapy at the First Step’s clinic in Limerick  and is able to walk with the aid of a walker.

However, he spends much of his time in a wheelchair buggy and will graduate to a wheelchair when he gets older and his family are appealing for help to cover the costs of a wheelchair accessible van.

“The doctors told us that he wouldn’t walk, he wouldn’t talk. They said he would be able to very little for himself. He’s proved them wrong because he is walking with the aid of a walker,” his mum Orla Christian told

Michael had his first surgery at just five days old, to drain the fluid from his brain.

"The night before his surgery I made a promise to him - if he showed me signs that he wanted to walk or talk I would do anything and everything for him,” Orla said.

Now her only child has made huge progress which she hopes to continue this year,

“He’s allowed use the walker and will be getting assessed by the physiotherapist next month. I started putting him in it off my own bat and he has come on great. He knows what he needs to do but there are delays in the message getting to his brain.

“We travel a lot. I’m from Dublin and we live in Cork. With Michael’s walker now and everything else that comes with him like his pump, his feeding tube, it just doesn’t fit,”

The family also travel to Fermanagh for respite care for Michael, which they access through The Order of Malta.

Michael’s GoFundMe page can be found here.

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