Jacob and Jordan. Pic: SWNS
A five-year-old boy can play with his twin brother for the first time after learning to walk on 'magic legs' following a £45,000 operation.
Jacob Cook was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was just six months old.
The condition left him unable to even sit up so he couldn't join in the fun with his identical twin Jordan.
Their mum, Lucy Fletcher, 26, from Summertown, Oxford, said the boys were born premature, weighing less than 6lb between them.
Routine scans revealed that Jacob had two cysts on his brain, and further tests when he was six months old showed he had cerebral palsy.
As Jacob and Jordan grew up, Jacob's cognitive abilities matched his brother's but they couldn't run around and play together.
Doctors managed his condition with regular physiotherapy until an operation became available in the US to help him walk.
The Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy procedure involves surgeons cutting the nerves in the spinal cord that are sending the wrong messages to the legs, which in turn would strengthen Jacob's legs.
But the treatment came at a cost: £45,000, plus £20,000 for rehab and physiotherapy following the operation.
After a huge fund-raising campaign, Lucy, the boys and their dad, Scott Cook, 32, were eventually able to travel to St Louis in Missouri, US, in June 2013, where Jacob's surgery was successful.
Lucy said: "The care was brilliant. We were looked after really well. Jacob didn't fully understand what would happen but we told him that the doctor would put magic back into his legs to try to make them work.
"We want him to be aware of what was happening, but we didn't want him to be disappointed if it didn't work.
"He has asked the question 'why am I not like Jordan?' but I just explain that he was poorly as a baby. We have brought him up to believe he's got to get on with it."
Since the surgery last year, both Jacob and Jordan have started school, and despite Jacob needing daily physiotherapy, they can now both walk around together as brothers.
Lucy said: "He's never really been jealous of Jordan, which is nice. He's been good at getting Jordan to help him and now he's at school he gets all the girls to get him what he wants too.
"It's been very busy, and it's hard work, but he's definitely made a lot of progress.
"He once had no mobility but he's worked really hard at his physio and he never complains and he gets on just fine."
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more