The family of a Kettering boy with cerebral palsy has launched a fundraising appeal to help change his life.
Elliot Groom, 12, struggles to walk because of his condition and had to wear rigid splints until six months ago.
He began using a rented FES (Functional Electrical Stimulation) device, a treatment that sends electric charges to the muscles to help body movements.
His family now want to buy him his own FES equipment, but it will cost in the region of £9,400.
Mum Bev Groom, 45, said: “It’s just changed his life.
“He’s so much more confident and he can wear normal shoes.”
Elliot’s problems began when he had low blood glucose levels when he was born.
At the age of three his family noticed he wasn’t able to do as much as his younger brother Daniel, now 10.
He was then diagnosed as having cerebral palsy.
His previous use of rigid splints leaves him with blisters and bumps on his feet.
But using the FES means when he puts his foot down the heel switch senses that he’s walking, sends a message to the unit and it delivers a small electric shock to his muscle, causing it to contract.
Bev, a nurse practitioner, said: “We went for a walk in the car park when we were trialling them and we were just walking along and I just suddenly realised he was keeping up with me.
“Normally he’d be behind me.
“I could have cried because he just looked so happy.
“To see him walking ‘normally’ was amazing and it’s given him so much confidence.”
Renting the FES for Elliot, who goes to Kettering Science Academy, costs Bev and husband Colin, a 46-year-old NHS accountant, £300 a month.
Bev added: “It’s like a little mini-mortgage but we wanted him to get in them as soon as possible.
“They’re benefiting him so much.”
The family has raised £2,500 of the £9,400 needed so far through online fundraising and a sponsored walk.
Bev appealed for donations to help make Elliot’s life easier.
She said: “We would be eternally grateful and Elliot would be completely grateful for any support.
“It is changing his life.
“In the grand scheme of things he has got mild cerebral palsy but it affects his everyday life.
“He’ll give everything a go but there are just some things he cannot do.
“If anybody could help it would be amazing.”
To donate to Elliot’s cause, click here.