A 12-YEAR-OLD from Wheatley who suffers multiple disabilities has set his sights on walking to his local shop.

Oscar Scott Tower's family was told he would never walk but following nine years of intensive physiotherapy at the Footsteps Centre in Dorchester, he has started to walk short distances.

Last year he was fitted with a mechanical valve in his heart and survived four emergencies during a two-month stay in hospital but he has since recovered from the setback and has started to learn to walk.

Oscar’s dad Richard Towers said: "Although Oscar can only walk short distances, the fact that he is walking at all could be thought of as nothing short of a miracle.

"In fact, it is because of nine years of hard work going to the Footsteps Centre to receive intensive physiotherapy 132 days a year.

"It’s been a huge commitment for the family but it has been worth it because without this therapy Oscar would still at best be sitting and not much else.

“To celebrate his new walking, we have agreed a goal with Oscar to walk to our local shop, which is about 90 metres away.

"We still need to be very close to him when he is walking as he is prone to falling and as he is on blood-thinning medication for his heart this could be potentially dangerous for him.

"He is currently learning to walk outside, around obstacles and he needs to look where he is going."

Gosia Swietlik, head physiotherapist at the Footsteps Centre said: "Oscar has worked incredibly hard over the years and he always progressed but because of the extent of his brain damage it has been a slow journey.

"He is a popular child at Footsteps because of his wicked sense of humour - when he first walked everyone was so excited."

Staff at the Footsteps Centre use a 'spider' device, developed in Poland, which allows a therapist to help a child while they are being supported with elastic ropes.

For further information visit footstepscentre.com