This page will be used to give updates on Bellas progress over the coming months. We won't be doing a daily diary but will post anything we think is significant or any improvements she hopefully will have! 


May 30th 2010 - Back at home

Bella saw her private physiotherapists yesterday 'CPPC' in flitwick, Beds who specialise in intensive physio for cerebral plasy,  They have known Bella since she was 2yrs old and are pleased with Bella's progress! Especially the feet going flatter which is a big improvement.  She has started to walk with her feet facing outwards sometimes but after checking with Dr Dobbs he says this is apparently normal and will improve with physio as she gets stronger.

To see a video of Bella doing some walking yesterday out in the garden with her walker please click below:


31st May 2010

Bella did some walking by herself with her walking canes. Just a few steps but it's a good start! She has never done that before. Didn't record it as I was standing right next to her in case she fell.

1st June 2010

Bella took 2 steps by herself today from me to the wall after her physio session. Getting stronger every day! Had to get some antibacterial cream for her right leg as her hamstring incision has got slightly infected but otherwise she is doing great!


4th June 2010

It's been a busy week for Bella she has had physio 5 times this week and is doing great.  She is currently on antibiotics as her leg wound got worse yesterday but it is starting to heal.  It's been a lovely hot day so Bella and her brother had the paddling pool out. This gave us the opportunity to see her walk in bare feet with her walker. Her feet were lovely and flat with her heels down.  To see Bella please click on link below!


13th June 2010

Today Bella and her twin brother celebrated their sixth birthdays. It's been a great week for Bella and she has managed to take 4-5 independent steps. Only a couple of times but it shows she is progressing and with her flat feet she has lots of potential.

To see Bella take a few steps please click on link below: 


 24th June - 8 wks post SDR - 5 wks post muscle op

It's been hard work for Bella for the last 2wks with lots of physio, still aiming for 4-5 times a wk!

She did 7 independent steps last weekend! Just suddenly let go of a chair and walked. Lovely to see with her flat feet.

We are still practising with her walking canes but although she is strong enough to use them by herself she simply doesn't like to. She finds them quite hard but we are persevering.

Left : Bella standing for a few seconds. Below: Bella's spine scar and hamstring scar

7th July 2010

Bella has amazed us over the last week by starting to do some more independent walking at home.  She occasionally has walked 6 or 7 steps but today she managed to do about 32 steps and turned around by herself! Amazing!  This is so brilliant to see as she has never had this kind of balance or control before and she is very very pleased with herself.  We are proud and so is Bella!   Please click on link below to see Bella walk like she has never been able to before and do an amazing turn!


30th July 2010

Bella went to another physio on the 12th July called 'Footsteps' nr Oxford for a 3wk intensive block,    She has done quite well and worked hard.  Steady progress and learning a bit more control and balance. Because she had such a great start to the month and achieved so much I think we will see a slower progression from now on as she learns how to walk.  She still needs to use her walker outside as she is likely to fall on any uneven surface and needs support.


31st July 2010

Yet another first for Bella today as she walked outside playing football on the grass! She loved it. Fell over quite a bit but has never been able to stand and kick a ball before!

To see Bella playing football please click on link below:

28th August 2010

Bella has had a good month with lots of walking and swimming. She has had a family holiday (arranged before we'd even heard of her operation!). It has been a break from intensive physio with just exercise through play.  

Her legs are now so strong that she is no longer wearing the longer leg splints!  Which is brilliant. (We do need to get a second opinion on this with her physio but so far she seems to be doing really well so hope that they will agree!) Just the little Dafo's now for some support for her feet. 

Below are pictures of Bella standing alone and with her buggy! She loves trying to dance and spending time pushing her buggy along.

Please see below some more videos of Bella doing her walking and  some dancing!


16th September 2010

Bella is continuing to get stronger and has now learnt to do a jump all by herself!  She loves practising and has managed to do a few jumps on the trampoline!  Another First for Bella and she is loving it! The physio continues a few times a week and we are doing the exercises at home.  She is still wearing 2 lots of night splints and is starting to really not like them. 

The walking canes haven't been a success for Bella as she is prefering to either walk by herself or use her walker as she can run with it. Hopefully she will either get strong enough to not need them or will get to like them. She still needs a buggy if we go out anywhere as she tires easily but she has had an amazing year and achieved so much that didn't seem possible before.

To see Bella jumping on the trampoline please click below!

11th October 2010

Bella had a lovely weekend away in a caravan in Pagham with her family at the end of September thanks to a local charity.  She did alot of walking and even managed some steps on a pebbled uneven beach which isn't easy! (pictures below) 

 We sent some videos of Bella walking with bear feet, with her short splints and with just inserts in her shoes to the physio in America and they have now said she is ready to be weaned off wearing splints! This is brilliant and seems amazing as Bella has always had to wear splints which can rub and cause discomfort. After 5 months of wearing 2 sets of night splints she also doesn't have to wear them anymore (unless her hamstrings get tight). Fingers crossed within a few weeks she will only need shoes inserts. She will love having a choice of shoes she can wear for the first time in her life!

1st December 2010

Bella continues to do well and we continue with her stretches and physio.   We were a little premature with thinking Bella could start wearing inserts. She has tried wearing them but tends to fall over more so she is now wearing small dafos that have some heel support but they can fit inside her shoes. Still alot more comfortable for her than the pre op splint she had to wear.

This week it has snowed a little bit here so Bella had a chance to go out and try walking in it for the first time. She would normally have had to crawl in it and then gets wet and cold quickly. Her brother benjamin made snowballs for her to throw at him and it was lovely to see her actually being able to stand up and play with him. (Some pictures below in the snow)

 16th January 2011

A belated Happy New Year to everyone. Last year was an amazing year for Bella and thank you to everyone who supported her.

Bella didn't get any professional physio obviously over the Xmas and New Year period so she is pretty much the same as a few weeks ago maybe a b it weaker.  We are noticing her feet are sticking outwards a bit more and her arches roll in quite badly with bare feet so Bella has an appt to see someone about orthotics for her feet. She may need more support around the ankles and re-casting for ankle Splints.  

She still walks around the house alot by herself which is great but at school she uses her walker for outside in the playground only for safety. It would be lovely if Bella could progress enough to not need her walker.

21st February 2011  - nearly 10 months post op

Bella attended an SDR celebration party last month where around 30 post op UK families and 11 pre op families came together to celebrate the operation. 2 of the physios came over from the US for the party too! It was great to get together with other families who have been through the same experience.

Bella is back on track having lots of physio and is getting stronger. It has been confirmed that she does need to go back into ankle splints so she won't be able to wear just inserts as we had hoped. 

She needs a new special needs tricycle which can really help to strenghen her legs post op.  We have an appt with Theraplay to show us their trikes and we are hoping to get help with funding so we can buy a new trike that suits her needs.

Above:  Picture of Post op kids at SDR party and right Bella dancing at party 

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