How A Spider is helping brave four-year-old Grace

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AN EXTRAORDINARY apparatus has helped an inspirational Northampton child to regain movement in her body.

Four-year-old Grace Windram, of Obelisk Rise, Kingsthorpe, has cerebral palsy and just over a year ago could not even sit up.

However, thanks to a rare piece of equipment at a physiotherapy centre, the All Saints Primary pupil can now sit up, kneel and crawl short distances,

Grace receives treatment at home and via the NHS, but it is sessions at the Footsteps physiotherapy centre in Warborough, Oxfordshire, that her mum, Helen, said have made all the difference.

The centre is home to a piece of equipment known as the Spider, which is the only one of its kind in the UK, and is built like a spider’s web with elastic ropes to hold youngsters up.

It allows physiotherapists to implement a full course of exercises for a child in any chosen position and aligns their body properly.

Helen said: “There’s nothing quite like it. Our lives are infinitely different because of it.

“The centre make it all really enjoyable for the children.

“Grace is a fun-loving little girl and she loves being around people.

“She gets so excited when she is going to Footsteps, it really is a gem of a place.”

Grace, who lives with her mum, dad Gavin and six-month-old sister Amelia, attends the centre four times a year for two-hour sessions over a three-week period.

Pippa Hoyer Millar, the co-founder of Footsteps, said: “The Spider is loved by children as it gives them, often for the first time, the freedom to move on their own in ways they just haven’t experienced before.

“The Spider does not offer a miracle cure but the power of intensive physiotherapy, expert therapists and the most effective equipment, all in conjunction with a child-friendly atmosphere, has worked wonders for scores of children.

“There is nothing like this in this country.”