A FIVE-year-old boy whose parents were told he’d never walk again is to lead the way on his own charity walk.
Jay Johnson, who lives in Mayfield, Midlothian, has cerebral palsy and was wheelchair-bound until a miracle operation in the US last year.
The Lawfield Primary pupil’s operation, which could now see him walk unaided by the summer, was assisted greatly by a £44,000 fundraising effort by family and friends. But his parents, Sandra, 26, and Paul, 27, now face soaring physiotherapy bills as he continues to defy medics.
To help them meet these costs, the staff of HSBC’s premier relation team at the Gyle have decided to host a 100-mile walk on April 5.
And such is the progress that Jay has made, he intends to walk the first few steps with them.
Mum Sandra said: “When the bank asked me about the walk, I was really excited about it. It will be the first fundraiser that Jay has really been involved in, and just for him to walk with them will be absolutely great and really nice to see.
“I’ve not told him he’s going to be walking.
“I will just take him there on the day and let him get involved in it.”
Walk organiser and team manager of HSBC’s premier relation team, Alex Thomson, has told how his team were seeking a community charity project to support and upon hearing Jay’s story became inspired to help out.
But they never expected that he would in fact join them.
Alex said: “A colleague of mine, Cat Tannerhill, told us all about Jay and when we heard what the little guy has done, we knew straight away we had found our cause.
“It’s tremendous and very inspiring.
“I rang Sandra and she was delighted.
“I never thought that she’d suggest bringing Jay along to start us off.”
Sandra hopes that Jay will manage the first ten minutes using his crutches, although he can now walk for a short distance holding his mum or dad’s hand.
She added: “Jay is doing brilliantly with his walking. He can walk round the supermarkets for a good ten to 15 minutes as long as he’s holding my hand, it’s just unbelievable – I can’t believe it’s happened so fast.
“Everybody who knows him can see the difference in him now and I’m absolutely delighted.
“No words can explain it, I’m that happy.”