A WEYMOUTH youngster has defied the odds after doctors said he would never be able to walk.
Little Ethan Barrett, who suffers with cerebral palsy, has taken his first steps at the age of six to the joy of his family, teachers and friends.
His mum Cheryl said: “It’s a miracle – we are so proud of him.
“It’s been hard work but we all were determined to see him walking.
“When he was born we were told that he would never have use of his legs.”
After much determination, the popular youngster, who attends Chickerell Primary Academy, started to walk with a frame in September.
Before then, Ethan was wheelchair bound and also struggled to talk.
His mum added: “He has gone from a little boy who couldn’t walk or talk, to one who is forming sentences, asking questions, most importantly, walking. He is just thriving and improving everyday.
“He still gets tired after a while so he can’t walk huge distances.”
His family have praised his teacher Carol Morgan, who works with Ethan everyday at school, for her efforts to get him standing and walking.
It has involved sessions of physiotherapy to build strength back into his legs.
His mum added: “Ethan got around by ‘bum shuffling’ before. He didn’t have an easy start to life as he was not breathing when he was born and had to be resuscitated three times.
“He wasn’t diagnosed with cerebral palsy until he was one.”
His dad Bob said: “It is through the determination of Ethan that this has been possible. It is fantastic and we are all thrilled.”
Ethan’s brother Jack, aged eight, said: “I’m a very proud big brother.”
His teacher Carol Morgan said when she first started working with Ethan, she asked his family what would make a difference and their wish was for him to walk.
She said: “I am determined and so are Ethan and his family – it is amazing. I’m so proud of him.”
Mum Cheryl added: “I want to thank Chickerell Primary Academy for accepting Ethan into their school.
“Miss Harris and the staff have been really supportive and have done all they can to accommodate him.
“But my heartfelt thanks go to Carol. Words cannot describe how wonderful she has been and how much she has helped Ethan progress.
“He wouldn’t be where he is now without the help she has given.”
The family also added thanks to Ethan’s former childminder Silvana and teacher Caroline Pollard.