Recovery has been difficult following a major operation for one-in-a-million Luca Railton, but the prospect of soon being able to take his first steps without callipers is keeping his morale up.
The 10-year-old, who a few months ago faced having his left leg amputated, flew to Florida last month with his family after a campaign to cover the cost of £135,000 life-changing surgery to allow him to walk, which took place on March 27.
The appeal came slightly short of the target but donations have continued to pour in for Luca, with £91,500 collected so far.
The youngster, who lives in Rodbourne, near Malmesbury, was born with no bone in his right knee, no right tibia and only a partial left tibia due to a rare condition called bilateral tibial hemimelia, which affects one in a million people.
He had undergone more than 60 hours of surgery before this latest procedure to allow him to walk with the aid of leg supports.
Although the pain has slightly subsided since the procedure took place on March 27, every day remains a challenge for Luca, whose left foot is still constantly aching.
Yet the strong-minded boy is not allowing himself to be defeated by the pain and instead is enjoying the days spent in the Florida sunshine.
“I’m really well and recovering quickly apart from the pain in my left foot," he told family and friends on the Help Luca Walk Facebook page.
“It’s because I’m sat down all the time, my hamstrings get tight which causes my foot to cramp and hurt. But I’m having physio every day at the hospital and at home, and my mum and dad are constantly feeding me so that I keep strong.’’
Last year doctors in Oxford explained there was no more they could do for Luca, and they would have to either amputate or fuse his right leg.
Luca’s mother Teresa told her Facebook followers Luca had been a model of resilience and courage.
To make a donation to the Help Luca Walk appeal visit www.facebook.com/lucarailton