Easter joy: Eight-year-old Jack takes first steps

Joanne Hardisty, of Scawthorpe, with her son Jack Hardisty.
Joanne Hardisty, of Scawthorpe, with her son Jack Hardisty.
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The eight-year-old from Scawsby, who had major brain surgery just four months ago, has brought joy to his family by taking his first steps.

Jack, from Petersgate, suffers from a rare condition called West Syndrome, a form of epilepsy. Before Christmas it was causing him to go into convulsions up to 30 times a day.

Late in January, he had an operation to remove a part of his brain which doctors had identified as the source of the fits.

Three months on, Jack is having around four fits a fortnight and has walked for the first time.

Jack’s condition has previously meant he was able only to crawl.

Mum Joanne Hardisty is delighted her son has taken his first steps and hopes it’s a sign of success following the surgery.

She said: “He tried walking the other day - and that was the first time he had managed it.

“He was with his grandad at the time and he had leant against the settee. He went to set off, took four steps and then fell down.

“Those were his first four steps. Obviously it is exciting for us - we’ve waited eight years for his first steps.

“I would like to believe that it is to do with the operation.”

The family have been told they will not know the extent of the success of the operation until next January, but they are hopeful after the decrease in the number of fits he is suffering.

It is not the first operation Jack has undergone. An operation in 2006 left him free of convulsions for eight months, before they gradually returned. But it meant he was able to laugh and smile again for the first time.

Experts say the small number of fits he has suffered since the operation may possibly be controlled at a later stage through drugs treatments. That option will be explored at a future date.

Joanne said: “I’m feeling pretty positive, but I’m trying not to get too carried away, because last time it was a blow when they fits came back/ Jack has always been a happy child and he is always happy and laughing.

“The doctors have been really down to earth and made us feel comfortable all along. If the operation works, it will have changed all out lives.”

Jack, who will not be eating Easter eggs tomorrow as he does not like chocolate, will be celebrating Easter along with his parents and younger brothers Danny and Riley.