A BRAVE youngster who has endured years of gruelling surgery can now walk for the first time on her own – and has been nominated for a Newsletter award.
Millie Cope, seven, was born with spina bifida and has always used either a wheelchair or walking frame to get around.
The condition meant her spine had not formed properly, caused nerve damage and left her with no feeling in one of her legs.
Millie has under gone numerous operations over the years. She is under the care of Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital, which means she and her family have to make the journey from their home in The Beeches, Rugeley to the city on frequent occasions.
Last year Millie had to have particularly difficult surgery, which involved having to have the tibia bones in her legs broken and re-cast.
For most of the summer she was in a wheelchair but despite the difficulties she continued to go to Hob Hill Primary School.
In November she had the final bit of surgery and since then has been having regular physiotherapy to build up the strength in her muscles.
And she has now developed some sensation in the one leg where there was previously nothing - and for the first time she can walk small distances without the aid of a frame.
Her grandmother Susan Elsmore, from Trent Lane, Great Haywood, was so impressed with the youngster’s bravery and determination that she nominated her in the outstanding bravery category in the Newsletter Children of Courage awards.
Millie’s proud mum Sarah Cope, 36, said: “Millie is a determined little girl. She still finds it difficult to walk and it is very long, ongoing process but last year was the biggest year for her.
“But nothing ever bothers her. She is always so brave and never complains, considering what she has been through. She is a fan of One Direction and loves shoes. She is determined to wear nice shoes. I am just so very proud of her.”
Mrs Elsmore added: “It is with sheer determination that Millie can walk short distances on her own. She is such a star my beautiful granddaughter.”
The Newsletter has teamed up with Stafford College for the Children of Courage Awards. Anyone under the age of 18 can be nominated in one of five categories, including outstanding bravery, fund-raiser, special recognition, environment award and carer in helping others.
The deadline has been extended to April 25 for any last-minute entries, which can be made by clicking here.