Moment boy, 5, takes first steps unaided after being told he would never walk

A five-year-old boy has defied the odds after being told he would never walk due to his severe degenerative condition.

Camden Brooks Hanson has cerebellar atrophy, which affects the part of his brain controlling functions including coordination, balance and speech. He has been in physiotherapy since he was 18 months and had never taken more than a couple of steps unaided until Saturday.

In a video viewed eight million times online, the boy from Woodstock, Georgia, USA, walks across the room unassisted for the very first time. His mother Mandy Hanson said: ‘He has taken one or two independent steps in the past but typically falls right after. Many doctors and therapists told us they didn’t think he would ever walk independently and look at him now!’

Genetic tests have been unable to highlight the exact cause of Camden’s atrophy, but MRI scans have shown it worsening over time. Mrs Hanson added: ‘The “unknown” is very scary because we are unsure what his prognosis and future looks like.’

She described her son as a ‘very happy little boy’ who ‘loves being silly and making people laugh’. His proud mother said he received the ‘Biggest Heart award’ out of 22 students in his pre-kindergarten class because he was ‘always so loving to his teachers and peers’.

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Camden has physical, speech and occupational therapy, meaning he undertakes about 10 sessions a week. Coronavirus lockdown has meant conducting this treatment online while his parents take on the ‘difficult’ task of juggling working full-time jobs with homeschooling.

But Camden is due to start kindergarten in the autumn, and his parents are optimistic about him continuing to make progress.

They hope he will use just his crutches before eventually being able to walk around the room using just one of them.

After a difficult few months, Mrs Hanson said it was an ‘incredible’ moment to see her son take his first steps.

She added: ‘Everything Camden accomplishes big or small is celebrated but watching him take so many independent steps and feel so confident that he could finally do it was an incredible feeling. We are so proud of him and blessed that he is our son.’

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